With warm weather and longer days, residents are venturing outside to begin the process of spring cleanup.

The Boone Fire Department reminds everyone that consistent with state law, debris burning of any kind is not permitted within the Town of Boone limits, including leaves, branches and other plant growth as well as garbage, paper, tires, building materials, and any other type of human-made or human-processed materials of any kind.

County residents may take yard debris to the landfill. Watauga County Sanitation accepts yard debris Monday through Friday at a rate of 59 cents per 20lbs or on Saturdays for free up to 2000 lbs per address.

All county residents are asked to obtain a burning permit before burning. Burn permits can be obtained at your local fire station or online at NCForestService.gov.

Fire Prevention Captain Jacob Burleson of Boone Fire Department, says whether performing cleanup or a fresh landscape install, every should follow a these tips to protect your home from the dangers of wildfires:

CLEAR leaves and other vegetative debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting your home.

REMOVE dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch and within 10 feet of the house.

SCREEN in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.

REMOVE Combustible materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch. Wildfire can spread to tree tops.

PRUNE trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

KEEP your lawn hydrated and maintained. If its brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire. Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger.

DISPOSE of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire. INSPECT shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair the shingles that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.

COVER exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.

ENCLOSE eaves and screen soffit vents using 1/8 mesh metal screening to prevent ember entry.

Town of Boone residents are allowed up to 3 free pick-ups per year. For more information about this or to schedule a pick-up, contact Public Works at (828) 268-6230. For questions and other safety tips contact Boone Fire Department at (828) 268-6180 or visit the National Fire Protection Association at NFPA.org.