Fire danger on the rise as dry conditions persist

By Steve Ohnesorge - bio l email

HICKORY, NC  (WBTV) – While the coastal sections of the Carolinas got a soaking from Hurricane Earl, the western sections had another dry day on Friday.

Some areas have seen very little rain in the past two weeks. That combined with higher winds and lower humidity has raised the danger of fire say forestry officials.

"It is definitely getting dry out there," said Chris Moss of the County Ranger's office in Burke County.  The alert level has been bumped up to "moderate" in some areas of the piedmont and could go higher say officials the longer the area goes without significant rain.

At campgrounds across the area, people have been advised to be extra careful with their fires. John Myers of Cherryville was in the South Mountains State Park Friday and said he doesn't plan to build a fire if dangerous conditions exist.

"It it's windy, there will be no fire," he said.

Myers has a gas stove for cooking, just in case.

Normally the busiest wildfire seasons are in the spring and fall.  Officials say they are hoping the dry end to the summer is not an omen of things to come.

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