- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - An open burn ban is in effect for Buncombe County as western North Carolina continues in the midst of a drought and the potential for fires increases.

Local media outlets report the ban was put into effect by the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency and will remain in effect until further notice.

Asheville Fire Department spokeswoman Kelley Klope said falling leaves are creating debris, and that a spark could easily ignite the debris and start a brush fire, a wildfire or a house fire.

The Asheville Regional Airport reports rainfall in 2016 is 29.55 inches, 8.69 inches below normal. The National Weather Service says October rainfall 0.52 inches, 2.3 inches below normal.

Temperatures are expected to drop this weekend but the forecast doesn’t include a chance a rain.

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