Dry forest conditions prompt warnings

LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - North Carolina Forestry officials are urging people to be extra careful in outdoor burning in the foothills.

'We haven't had any significant rain in three weeks," said Richard Cockerham, who was manning the District 2 operations center in Lenoir Monday.

The official status of fire alert is at a "Moderate" level but Cockerham said that could be bumped up to a high fire danger or more if winds pick up and humidity drops.

No significant rain is expected in the next few days. Over the weekend eight fires were reported in the Northern Foothills.

None of the fires was larger than 2 acres but it is an indication of conditions that are ripe for trouble, said officials.

No burning ban is in effect or on the horizon at the time being but people are being asked to be careful. The number one thing to keep in mind, they say, is to never leave a fire unattended. A gust of wind, they said, could send embers into the dry forests.

Anyone who spots smoke or sees a fire that is out of control is urged to call their local law enforcement or fire office as soon as possible.

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