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8th driest October on record sets burn ban in place

The+fire+pit+on+Sanford+Mall+for+students+to+gather+around.
Becca Bridges
The fire pit on Sanford Mall for students to gather around.

100% of people in Watauga County are affected by a current drought with no change since last week according to the National Integrated Drought Information System

Effective on Nov. 8 at 5 p.m., a burn ban was placed on Watauga County. 

“As warm and dry as this fall has been and what the moisture content is in the ground, and the leaf litter the forest service decided we had reached a point where a burn ban was necessary,” said Amy Flieg, a Boone Fire Department Fire marshal. 

This October has been the eighth driest October over the past 129 years and is the 44th driest year to date which puts 51,079 people at risk of drought, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System. 

“Burn bans prohibit all open burning in Watauga County and the Town of Boone, regardless of whether a permit was previously issued. Open burning includes burning of leaves, branches or other plant material, even recreational or camp fires,” according to a post on the Town of Boone’s Instagram.  

The Town of Boone Public Works Department sent out a PSA on Nov. 2 including ways to help reduce water waster during this current burn ban. Some of the methods they include are limiting the use of washing machines and dishwashers, taking showers instead of baths and limiting showers to no more than four minutes, avoiding flushing toilets with each single-use, and using flow-restrictive and water-saving devices as much as possible. 

“The town and county will keep their burn ban as long as the state does,” said Flieg. 

The Town of Boone’s burn ban will stay in effect until the NC State Forest Service removes their ban.

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About the Contributors
Adrianna Rice
Adrianna Rice, Reporter
Adrianna Rice (she/her) is a freshman elementary education major with a concentration in exceptional learners from Wake Forest, NC. This is her first year writing for The Appalachian.
Becca Bridges
Becca Bridges, Photojournalist
Becca Bridges (she/her) is a junior commercial photography major from Concord, NC. This is her third year with The Appalachian.
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