Earlier this week a burn ban was announced by the N.C. Forest Service due to the increased risk of fire.
According to its announcement, which was shared by Polk County Emergency Management, the “N.C. Forest Service issued a ban on all open burning and has canceled all burning permits for Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain and Transylvania counties effective 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 5, until further notice.”
“Several counties in Western North Carolina are currently in a severe drought, and we are seeing wildfire activity increase due to dry conditions. Because dry conditions are expected to continue this burn ban is necessary to reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading quickly. Our top priority is always to protect lives, property and forestland across the state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Even though not all areas of the North Carolina fall under the burn ban, we do encourage extreme caution with any burning as conditions are dry in many areas of the state. We will continue to assess conditions in the coming weeks to determine if we need to expand the burn ban.”
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This type of event is something that Polk County residents can be alerted to through an emergency alert system called Everbridge.
In 2021 Polk County Local Government announced it would transition to the Everbridge system.
If you haven’t signed up for this system, which is an improved way of receiving vital information, you can by clicking here.
Everbridge is designed to alert residents and visitors about a variety of situations such as severe weather, fires, floods, law enforcement emergencies, large-scale power outages or maintenance, community health announcements and more. Everbridge users can customize the types of alerts they want to receive.
Among the features of the new platform are multiple contact methods, two-way communication and updated weather alerts. Polk County Local Government will manage the tool in coordination with other area departments and agencies.