City council approves ban on pine straw

Pine straw is a popular landscaping material (Flickr media commons)

May 4, 2010 9:01:44 PM PDT
On Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council voted to ban the use of pine straw as a ground cover within 10 feet of combustible dwellings in multi-family developments.The regulation was prompted by two major fires where pine straw contributed to the rapid spread from one dwelling to another.

Three years ago, a raging fire wiped out three dozen townhomes in Raleigh. Then two months ago, another blaze destroyed three homes and damaged four more.

Raleigh fire officials said pine straw helped speed both blazes.

Leaders say the new ordinance will become effective on December 1, 2010.

The City of Raleigh Fire Department and Inspections Department will begin inspections and education programs and submit a progress report of compliance within six months. Officials say if there is a lack of progress on the part of the property owners, the effective date of the ordinance will be amended to become effective immediately.

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