CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Caldwell County is the latest county in the Queen City News’ coverage area that has issued a burn ban for their region.

The Caldwell County Fire Marshal issued the burn ban effective on Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. The City of Lenoir along with all municipalities in the county have also signed proclamations prohibiting open burning within their boundaries. 

Under the ban, residents are not allowed to have open fires of any type, including campfires, bonfires, yard or leaf burning, etc., within 100 feet of a residential or commercial building.

Burning trash is illegal, Caldwell County officials said.

“The only exception to the ban is cooking on/in outdoor charcoal, pellet, or gas grills provided precautions are taken to prevent fire from escaping those appliances,” officials said.

“The recent weather systems coupled with a lack of rain over the past several weeks leave us in near historic wildfire conditions if any fires were to start,” Fire Marshal Kevin Brown said.

Earlier this week, the North Carolina Forest Service put Ashe, Gaston, Cleveland, and Burke counties into a burn ban until further notice.

Across the state, Henderson County, NC, is in a state of emergency as local fire crews continue to battle a brush fire that’s now estimated to be more than 431 acres.

Those crews said as of Monday night, only 5% of the brush fire was contained, despite firefighters working overnight and through the weekend. 

They’re predicting that it could take them another 2 to 3 weeks before it’s completely contained.