Open burning ban lifted across eastern N.C., Outer Banks thanks to much needed rain

While it's been a dreary afternoon on the Manteo waterfront. much needed light to moderate rain has been falling across much of the region today. [courtesy Town of Manteo/Youtube]

The N.C. Forest Service has lifted a ban on all open burning effective at noon Wednesday in 67 counties, including all of northeastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks, as rainfall over the last 24 hours has helped counter moderate to severe drought conditions over the past month.

Open burning bans within 100 feet of structures in unincorporated areas of Dare County, along with the ban on beach fires in Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Town of Nags Head have been lifted.

The ban, which went into effect Nov. 29 due to hazardous forest fire conditions, remains in place for 33 counties from central to western North Carolina.

“The rainfall we are seeing across much of the state right now is doing what we need it to do,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Forest fuels are soaking it in, and conditions are improving.

[image courtesy N.C. Forest Service]

“Residents in the 67 counties no longer under the state’s burn ban should still burn responsibly, check for local burning restrictions, and make sure you have a valid permit,” Troxler said. “Check the weather, and never leave a debris fire unattended. If you’re in one of the 33 counties still under the state’s burn ban, please be patient and hold off on burning.”

As of noon, burn permits are available in the 67 counties no longer included in the state’s ban on open burning. Residents can obtain a burn permit from any authorized permitting agent or online at For the 67 counties no longer included in the ban, all burn permits previously granted were canceled when the ban became effective. A valid permit must be obtained.

Residents with questions regarding their specific county can contact their N.C. Forest Service county ranger or their county fire marshal’s office. To find contact information for your local NCFS county ranger, visit

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Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.