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N.C. Prescribed Burning Cost Share Program

Program Overview

The N.C. General Assembly has appropriated funds to the North Carolina Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a prescribed burning matching cost share program.

Eligible Prescribed Burning Practices

Applicants may apply for funding to conduct three types of prescribed burning practices. Eligible practices include the following types of prescribed burning:

  1. Silvicultural Burning - The use of prescribed fire to prepare areas for natural pine or oak regeneration, pre-commercial thinning to reduce competing tree density of undesirable species and the use of prescribed fire to manage for insects or disease concerns to promote forest health.
  2. Hazard Reduction Burning - The use of prescribed fire for the purpose of mitigating forest fuels to reduce the forestland risk from potential damage from wildfires.
  3. Wildlife Habitat Burning - The use of prescribed fire for the purpose of maintaining or creating improved forest, or open field conditions for desired plants, species, and habitat.
To be eligible for funding, prescribed burning projects must meet the following criteria:
  1. The project must comply with the requirements of Chapter 106, Article 80 of the General Statutes, as determined by the Forest Service.
  2. Funds provided by the program must be matched by funds from the landowner or other non-State sources.

Program Requirements

The Program requirements focus on compliance with the North Carolina Prescribed Burning Act (Chapter 106, Article 80), which was enacted by the N.C. General Assembly to promote prescribed burning as a beneficial management tool. Program requirements include the following:

  1. Following funding and prior to conducting the prescribed burn, landowner's must obtain a prescription for the burning prepared by a certified prescribed burner to be submitted and reviewed by the N.C. Forest Service. A copy of the prescription shall be provided to the landowner. A copy of this prescription must be in the possession of the responsible burner on site throughout the duration of the prescribed burning.

    • The prescription must include the following:
    • The landowner's name and address.
    • The objectives of the prescribed burning.
    • A description of the area to be burned.
    • A map of the area to be burned.
    • An estimate of total tons of the fuel located on the area to be burned.
    • A list of acceptable weather conditions and parameters for the prescribed burning that minimizes the likelihood of the fire escaping onto adjacent areas and smoke management concerns.
    • The name of the certified prescribed burner responsible for conducting the burn.
    • A summary of adequate methods surrounding the circumstances involved for starting, controlling, and extinguishing the prescribed burning.
    • Reasonable notice provision of the prescribed burning to be provided to nearby homes and businesses to avoid effects on health and property.

  2. Obtain an open-burning permit from N.C. Forest Service (when applicable)

  3. Additionally, any prescribed burning must comply with the following:

    • Terms and conditions of the open burning permit issued
    • State of North Carolina air pollution control statutes
    • Any applicable local ordinances
    • N.C. Smoke management guidelines
  4. The prescribed burn shall be conducted by a certified prescribed burner who must be present on-site and in-charge throughout the burning period. Exceptions to this would be if the landowner is burning 50 acres or less while following all conditions in the prescription as prepared by the certified prescribed burner.

Prescribed Burning Grant Funding Prevailing Rates/Acre

Funding Rate Funding Rate
Burning Practice Type NCFS Contracted Private Contractor/Landowner
Silvicultural 35 50
Hazard Reduction 35 50
Wildlife Habitat 35 50

Notification Requirements

The following notifications must be made before burning can begin:

  • Contact the NCFS District Operations Officer
    • Confirm location, start time of burn, weather meets parameters in the burn plan, and estimated acres to be burned.
  • Provide reasonable notice of the prescribed burning to nearby homes and businesses to avoid negative effects on health and property.
  • Burn Boss contacts non-emergency 911 call center to request that County Dispatcher notify area fire departments of burning.
  • Once the burn is complete, the burn boss or certified burner should call the NCFS District Operations Officer to report number of acres burned and the estimated tons consumed.

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