Fall foliage is a beautiful backdrop to the season in North Carolina, but once those leaves hit the ground, they create fuel for wildfires.
Cabe Speary, the Fire Environment Forester for the North Carolina Forest Service says a lack of rain, or even a lack of snow in the mountains, is a problem for our fall and winter fire season.
“You just don’t get much rain or snow to compact those leaves, so they stay fluffy so they become more available to burn,” Speary said.
Fall and into winter is a time when many people clean up yards, gardens, and fields, but 65 percent of wildfires in North Carolina start by people simply burning yard, garden, and field debris. The Forest Service isn’t saying to stop burning; they’re just telling you to get a permit, which you can get for free. They also don’t want you to do it in town, and not leave a fire alone.