04/01/10 188 W - + 10 - 6 Raleigh Mayor Wants Tougher Restrictions on Pine Straw

WRAL reported yesterday that the Raleigh Fire Department recommended Wednesday that the city pass an ordinance "prohibiting the use of pine straw within 10 feet of any combustible structure" in the wake of last week's three-alarm fire that destroyed three homes on Armadale Lane. Investigators cited dry grass and landscape materials as a factor in the fast-spreading fire, that was fed by gusty winds. They also noted that the close proximity of the buildings as another factor in the rapid spread.

Fire Marshal Rusty Styons submitted a report on the matter on Wednesday, to the Fire Chief and command staff for review. The report cites similarities to the Pine Knoll Townes fire of 2007, that started and spread in Pine Straw. The report also surveys other local and statewide municipalities that have or do not have similar ordinances.

Mayor Charles Meeker expressed the opinion that recommendation should restrict pine straw 20 to 30 feet from buildings, and he'll ask city council for an ordinance. The city council will address the issue Tuesday. Read the Fire Marshal's report. Or read the accompanying story.

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