With the recent burn ban being lifted, a lot more people are going to be burning their leaves and yard debris. The NC Forest Service is here to make sure that you do it properly and safely to prevent the risk of a wildfire. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you plan on burning your leaves:

  • Be prepared. Make sure you have sufficient hose/ water supply to control the burn.
  • Burn leaves in the morning when the relative humidity is higher and the winds are lower.
  • Make sure the burn area perimeter will not let the fire escape. Rake up any surrounding leaves and try to dig a fire perimeter to ground dirt to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Attain a Burn Permit through the NC Forest Service if you plan on burning.
  • Get a burn permit by either stopping by our office at Room 156 304 S Morgan St, Roxboro NC or through the NC Forest Service website.
  • We recommend calling the Person County non- Emergency number, stating what time and where you plan on having a controlled burn. The contact number is 336-597-0545.

We have also responded locally to several wildfires that started from people dumping ashes from their wood stoves this year. We encourage you to properly dispose of your ashes by placing them in a metal container with a lid and keep it covered. Hot coals can still be live for up to three days in this container so add some water and mix well to ensure that it is out.

Keep in mind that it is only legal to burn anything that has come from the ground (leaves, branches, fallen trees). It is illegal to burn:

  • Garbage, paper and cardboard
  • Tires and other rubber products
  • Building materials, including lumber, wire, plastics and synthetic materials
  • Asphalt shingles and heavy oils
  • Paints, household and agricultural chemical

Smoke from open burning can cause serious health problems and pollute the air. That's why the state regulates open burning. Only leaves, branches or other plant growth can be burned.

With any questions on how to safely burn, feel free to call the Person County NC Forest Service Office at 336-599-5111.


Renee Brown

Assistant County Ranger in Person County