The Importance of Open Burning Restrictions in Currituck County, NC

Learn about the role of fire departments in Currituck County, the importance of open burning restrictions, consequences of violating them, and alternative options for disposing of yard waste.

The Importance of Open Burning Restrictions in Currituck County, NC

Currituck County, located in the northeastern corner of North Carolina, is known for its beautiful beaches, scenic waterways, and rich history. However, with its natural beauty also comes the risk of wildfires. As such, the county has implemented strict regulations on open burning to prevent and control fires.

The Role of Fire Departments in Currituck County

The primary responsibility of fire departments in Currituck County is to protect the lives and property of its residents from the dangers of fire. This includes responding to emergency calls, conducting fire prevention and safety education programs, and enforcing fire codes and regulations. There are six fire departments in Currituck County, each serving a specific area within the county.

These include the Corolla Volunteer Fire Department, Crawford Township Volunteer Fire Department, Knotts Island Volunteer Fire Department, Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department, Moyock Volunteer Fire Department, and North River Volunteer Fire Department. These fire departments work closely with the county's Emergency Management team to ensure a coordinated response to any fire-related incidents. They also collaborate with other agencies such as the North Carolina Forest Service and the National Park Service to manage wildfires that may occur in the county.

The Importance of Open Burning Restrictions

Open burning refers to any outdoor burning of materials such as leaves, brush, or other vegetative debris. While it may seem like a harmless activity, open burning can quickly get out of control and cause significant damage to property and the environment. In Currituck County, open burning is regulated by the North Carolina Forest Service and enforced by the county's fire departments. The purpose of these restrictions is to prevent wildfires and protect public health by reducing air pollution. According to the North Carolina Forest Service, open burning is the leading cause of wildfires in the state.

In 2020 alone, there were 3,000 wildfires that burned over 60,000 acres of land. These fires not only pose a threat to human life and property but also have a devastating impact on wildlife and their habitats.

Understanding Open Burning Restrictions in Currituck County

Currituck County follows the North Carolina Forest Service's guidelines for open burning restrictions. These guidelines are based on weather conditions and are divided into three categories: green, yellow, and red.


- During this time, open burning is allowed without a permit. However, residents are still required to follow certain rules such as not burning within 100 feet of any structure and having a responsible person present at all times.


- During this time, open burning is allowed with a permit from the North Carolina Forest Service.

Permits are free and can be obtained online or by calling the county's fire department. However, residents must still follow all rules and regulations for open burning.


- During this time, all open burning is prohibited. This is usually due to high winds or dry conditions that increase the risk of wildfires. It is essential to follow these restrictions to prevent fires from getting out of control.

Consequences of Violating Open Burning Restrictions

The fire departments in Currituck County take open burning restrictions very seriously.

Violating these restrictions can result in fines and even criminal charges. In addition to these consequences, individuals who cause wildfires through open burning may also be held liable for any damages caused. In 2020, there were several instances of wildfires in Currituck County caused by open burning. These incidents not only put the lives of residents and firefighters at risk but also resulted in significant damage to property and the environment.

Alternative Options for Disposing of Yard Waste

While open burning may seem like a convenient way to get rid of yard waste, there are other options available that are safer and more environmentally friendly. These include composting, chipping, and using yard waste collection services provided by the county. Composting is an excellent way to turn yard waste into nutrient-rich soil for gardening.

Chipping involves shredding branches and other yard debris into small pieces that can be used as mulch or added to compost. The county's yard waste collection services allow residents to dispose of their yard waste in designated areas without the risk of starting a fire.

In Conclusion

Open burning restrictions in Currituck County are in place to protect the community and the environment from the dangers of wildfires. It is essential for residents to understand and follow these restrictions to prevent any potential harm. Fire departments in Currituck County play a crucial role in enforcing these regulations and ensuring the safety of all residents.

Marian Bolante
Marian Bolante

Beer advocate. Proud internet junkie. Devoted social media fan. Freelance pop culture buff. Amateur food nerd.