(a) The provisions of this section apply only to the counties not designated as high hazard counties in G.S. 106‑942(a).
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to start or cause to be started any fire or ignite any material in any woodland under the protection of the Department or within 500 feet of any such woodland during the hours starting at midnight and ending at 4:00 P.M. without first obtaining a permit from the Department. Permits may be obtained from forest rangers or other agents authorized by the forest ranger to issue such permits in the county in which the fire is to be started. Such permits shall be issued by the ranger or other agent unless permits for the area in question have been prohibited or cancelled under G.S. 106‑944 or G.S. 106‑946. (1981, c. 1100, s. 2; 2011‑145, s. 13.25(w), (x).)