That spring showers are a common but unreliable High Country occurrence is one important reason to heed warnings from the N.C. Forest Service. That’s especially so during this time of the year:

Spring is prime wildfire season in North Carolina, a season that runs from March to May.

Historically, it is this time of the year that wild fires are most likely to occur, and the No. 1 reason for that is the careless burning of yard debris.

It shouldn’t be that way, and with a little concern it won’t be. Yard debris burning — and it should be noted that only natural vegetation is fodder for such fires; it’s illegal to burn anything manmade or household trash — requires a couple of basic elements: a permit and common sense.

The permit can be obtained from the N.C. Forest Service or can be county-approved.

The common sense you have to come up with on your own.

For starters, don’t burn on dry windy days. Check with the county fire marshal about when and where you can burn. Be prepared: shovels and fire tools will help clear a perimeter before you start and could be lifesaving during an emergency. Never use flammable liquids to ignite the fire and stay with the fire at all times.

Of course, maybe the most sensible thing you can do is to consider alternatives before you burn. Much yard waste such as leaves and grass is worth more as compost than ash.

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