The N.C. Forest Service prepares for the Wildfire Season
With the impending arrival of fall wildfire season, the USDA Forest Service and N.C. Forest Service are reminding the public to exercise caution when engaging in recreational burning.
Peak months for the fall fire season run from October through early December and fires left unattended can get out of hand quickly, becoming wildfires that may threaten lives and property. Escaped fires due to careless backyard burning continue to be the leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina. For fiscal year 2021-2022 there were 6,887 wildfires that burned 26,958 acres in North Carolina. Only 1% of those wildfires were directly linked to a natural ignition source such as lightning. The other 99% of wildfires during that span were directly related to human activity. Some of the state’s most intense wildfires during the fall of 2021 were caused by escaped campfires.
In November 2021, the Sauratown Mountain Fire in Stokes County burned more than 40 acres but required 16 days to control and fully contain due to the steep and difficult terrain. Shortly after on Nov. 27, 2021, the Grindstone Fire, the largest wildfire during North Carolina’s 2021 fall wildfire season, ignited at Pilot Mountain State Park in Surry County and eventually burned 1,050 acres. Both incidents were caused by escaped campfires. For more information on proper fire safety call the National Forests in North Carolina at 828-257-4200