Thursday, February 29
Shadow

As Pilot Mountain Burns Red Flag Warning Issued Across NC

ASHEBORO N.C. – This morning the N.C. Forest Service is warning of increased fire danger for most North Carolina and asking for public to postpone any outdoor burning, especially across the Mountains, Piedmont and Sandhills.

The warning comes as the agency is responding to Surry County as over 250 acres have burned at Pilot Mountain. The Winston Salem Journal is reporting that the fire that started off a popular trail on Saturday afternoon, By Sunday the fire had spread to cover 250 acres. Visitors and campers have been forced to evacuate and Pilot Mountain State Park has been closed to the public.

Local explorer/photojournalist/videographer/professional storm chaser Dan Whittaker captured the flames as the fire spread Sunday reaching the knob. (Dan Whittaker / exploringnc (Instagram)

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Raleigh has issued a Special Weather Statement at 7:30 a.m. warning of increased fire danger. Gusts at the Asheboro Regional Airport measured gusts as high as 26 mph, with sustained winds as high as 12 mph. Combined with rapid drying and falling humidities will result in an increased risk for rapid fire growth Monday late morning through early evening.

The NWS says the recent dry weather and abundant dry leaves and other tree litter will contribute to the fire weather risk. They are discouraging outdoor burning and saying if you do burn, use extreme caution and ensure fire suppression equipment is readily available.

…INCREASED FIRE DANGER TODAY…

Behind a cold front pushing off the coast, low humidities under 30 percent today will combine with northwesterly wind gusts up to 20 mph and an abundance of dry leaves and other tree litter to create an increased risk for adverse fire behavior today. The recent dry weather will also contribute to the elevated fire weather risk.

Outdoor burning is discouraged. Please refer to your local burn permitting authority on whether you can burn. If you do burn, use extreme caution and ensure fire suppression equipment is readily available.

NWS Special Weather Statement

There is currently no burn ban in Randolph County. “Randolph County typically follows the North Carolina Forestry Service lead and will issue open burning bans in conjunction with the Forestry Service.” said Fire Marshal Erik Beard in an email. The N.C. Forest Service says anyone burning today should have a water source and phone nearby and to never leave a fire unattended.

UPDATE: The N.C. Forest Service has canceled all burning permits statewide effective at 5 p.m. today (11/29/2021) and issued a ban on all open burning