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A burn ban has been lifted for 26 counties in North Carolina, including Cumberland.

The NC Department of agriculture has issued a burn ban in Cumberland County, and 25 other NC counties. The North Carolina ban is in place “due to hazardous forest fire conditions.”

Cumberland County Fire Marshal Kevin Lowther has implemented the ban starting at noon today, for all fires and burn permits in the area until further notice. The ban does not apply “to fires started within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling,” a County release said. It also does not include grills or barbecues. Those are still allowed.

“Emergency Services made this decision based on our rating for fire danger and how hot and dry the weather has been,” Lowther said. “Cumberland County currently is at a high risk.”

The release said: “It is extremely important to refrain from all open burning as we are experiencing such dry weather.”

The burn ban for NC counties is for: Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and Wayne.

“Our state is getting drier and hotter, and wildfires like those conditions,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “These conditions coming during spring wildfire season when wildfire activity and fire risks are already elevated, make this burn ban necessary to protect life and property in North Carolina.”

According to the NC Forest Service, “Under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning in the affected counties, regardless of whether a permit was previously issued. The issuance of any new permits has also been suspended until the ban is lifted. Anyone violating the burn ban faces a $100 fine plus $183 court costs. Any person responsible for setting a fire may be liable for any expenses related to extinguishing the fire.”

Open burning includes burning leaves, branches or other plant material. In all cases, burning trash, lumber, tires, newspapers, plastics or other nonvegetative material is illegal.

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Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.