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3 wildfires burn 18 acres in Granville

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Granville County officials are urging caution and fire safety after several wildfires last week burned 18 acres in the county.

According to Granville County Ranger Rob Montague, the N.C. Forest Service and several county fire departments responded to three wildfires across the county.

The largest was a 15-acre blaze near Brassfield on Monday. That fire originated from a burning pile of debris, officials said.

Responding to that fire were Brassfield Volunteer Fire Department, Corinth Volunteer Fire Department, Creedmoor Volunteer Fire Department, Franklinton Volunteer Fire Department, Northern Wake Fire Department, Youngsville Fire Department, Granville County Sheriff’s Office, Granvlle County Fire Marshal’s Office, Granville EMS and the N.C. Forest Service.

The N.C. Forest Service urges residents to remember safety and to be cautious when burning materials during the spring wildfire season, which typically runs from March through May.

“Protect our forests and natural resources by being safe when you’re burning debris,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Let’s remember that wildfires can start and stop with each of us.”

The leading cause of wildfires in North Carolina is debris burning. When left unattended, debris fires can escape and start wildfires. For those who choose to burn debris, the N.C. Forest Service offers the following tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:

• Consider alternatives to burning. Some types of debris, such as leaves, grass and stubble, may be of more value if they are not burned but used for mulch instead.

• Check local burning laws. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours. Others forbid it entirely.

• Make sure you have a valid permit. You can obtain a burn permit at any N.C. Forest Service office or authorized permitting agent, or online

• Keep an eye on the weather. Don’t burn on dry, windy days.

• Local fire officials can recommend a safe way to burn debris. Don’t pile vegetation on the ground. Instead, place it in a cleared area and contain it in a screened receptacle away from overhead branches and wires.

• Household trash should be hauled away to a trash or recycling station. It is illegal to burn anything other than yard debris.

• Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket, steel rake and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire. Keep a phone nearby, too.

• Never use kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel or other flammable liquids to speed up debris burning.

• Stay with your fire until it is completely out.

In addition, when tending campfires or grills:

• Douse burning charcoal briquettes or campfires thoroughly with water. Drown all embers, not just the red ones.

• When soaked, stir the coals and soak them again. Make sure everything is wet and that embers are cold to the touch. If you do not have water, mix enough dirt or sand with the embers to extinguish the fire, being careful not to bury the fire.

• Never dump hot ashes or coals into a wooded area.