Fire chiefs warn locals to stay safe and follow burn ban

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — New Hanover County and City of Wilmington fire chiefs are warning locals to be careful. With extremely dry conditions and Memorial Day weekend approaching, the risk for fire is up.

Wilmington Fire Chief Buddy Martinette and New Hanover Deputy Chief Frank Meyer say fires could start much easier, especially in residential areas. Many homes in our area have vinyl siding, and can be surrounded by pine straw, meaning anything from cigarette butts, to fireworks, to charcoal grills can cause a blaze.

Although the official cause has not been determined yet, they both say a fire like the Paradise Cove Condominium fire at Carolina Beach could easily happen here if locals don’t take the proper precautions.

“We want to prevent something like that from happening, and those kinds of things are the kinds of things that we protect from on a daily basis,” said Martinette. “We’re just scared now that it’s almost accelerated because of the dry conditions.”

Chief Meteorologist Lee Haywood confirmed it will take a significant amount of rain to see an improvement in drought conditions.

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