04/29/05 — Duplin burning rules clarified

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Duplin burning rules clarified

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 29, 2005 1:45 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Some people think it's OK to burn trash in barrels because they have always done it that way, Duplin officials said. It's not.

The N.C. Division of Air Quality enforces the state's open burning rules, and many local governments have additional restrictions on outdoor fires. In Duplin County, the county fire marshal and solid waste enforcement officer commonly cite offenders based on both criminal and civil ordinances restricting open burning. Violating these rules can be expensive, with fines as high as $10,000 for serious cases or repeat violations. Substantial fines are assessed, even for minor or first-time violations.

Only leaves, branches and other plant growth can be burned -- nothing else. That means no trash, lumber, tires or old newspapers. If local curbside pickup is available, as it is in town, you can't burn leaves and branches.

What's allowed under the law? Homeowners can burn yard trimmings -- excluding logs and stumps more than six inches in diameter - if the following conditions are met: the material burned originates on the premises of private residences and is burned there; the location of the burning is at least 1,000 feet from any other dwelling located in a predominantly residential area; non-vegetative materials, such as household garbage, tires, or other manmade materials are not burned; the burning is started no earlier than 8 a.m. and no additional combustible material is added to the fire between 6 p.m. on one day and 8 a.m. the next; the burning does not create a nuisance; and material is not burned when the Division of Forest Resources has banned burning for that area.

Open burning that is more than 100 feet from your home and within 500 feet of woodland normally requires a permit from the N.C. Division of Forest Resources. For information call the Duplin County Solid Waste Department at 910-289-3091 or the Duplin County fire marshall at 910-296-2160.