A ban on all outside burning goes into effect at noon today, as ordered by the Bladen County Fire Marshal's office in conjunction with the N.C. Forestry Service.
With the recent temperatures that have broken records across the state, along with the dry conditions from the lack of rain, fires can quickly get out of control.
During this time of year, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Brandon Vincent, normal temperatures fall into the mid-80s. Those temperatures would feel like a cold front in comparison to the six days of 100 degrees or more we've faced in Bladen County recently.
Local firefighters have been working overtime trying to keep up with the recent calls of grass and woods fires throughout the county. Even a small fire that seems to be well-contained can get out of control quickly.
Vincent said relief is in our sights with a break in the unseasonably high temperatures now upon us. That change in the weather system, however, can bring about some afternoon thunderstorms.
This, too, can pose problems if a tree or other structure is struck by lightning that often come along with these types of storms. Firefighters can put out a fire in a tree that has been struck by lightning, but there is always a chance of rekindling up to a few days later.
Several wildfires have taken a toll on area fire departments across the state throughout recent months, with some lasting weeks at a time. Bladen firefighters faced such a battle the end of last year at the Big Swamp fire off of Marsh Road at the Robeson County line. Another, though not as widespread, occurred recently in the Kelly area.
Bladen County Fire Marshal Mitchell Byrd, along with area firefighters and forestry workers, will be enforcing the ban on outside burning. For more information, contact the county's fire marshal's office at 862-6760.