Pine straw restrictions begin

November 30, 2010 4:19:12 PM PST
A new Raleigh city ordinance restricting the use of pine straw from use around multi-family structures goes into effect on Wednesday.

Pine straw is widely-available and relatively inexpensive landscaping mulch made of pine needles and is commonly used in North Carolina.

The ordinance says the highly flammable material can no longer be used within 10-feet of buildings like condominiums and apartments that are within city limits.

Raleigh City Council approved the restrictions in May, citing a recommendation from the Raleigh Fire Department.

The change was made following a fire in March in the Highland Creek Subdivision. Pine straw helped to quickly spread that fire.

In February 2007, a cigarette on pine straw sparked another fire that destroyed 32 townhomes in Pine Knolls Townes off of Capital Boulevard.

Despite the change on Wednesday, ABC11 Eyewitness News found that some apartment complexes within city limits are still using pine straw.

Those who are caught violating the ban face a fine of at least 50-dollars.

Chapel Hill was the first municipality in the area to limit pine straw in 2007.

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