The NC Forest Service is battling several wildfires across the state, and residents are being asked to be careful when using open flames while dry conditions persist.
“A lot of personnel and equipment – including aircraft and fire dozers – have been moved to fight these blazes,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The N.C. Forest Service will continue to battle these fires until they are contained and fire personnel are confident that they no longer pose a threat to people and property.”
Whipping Creek Fire, Hyde County
The Whipping Creek Fire in Hyde County, on the Dare County line, began on private land and has grown to about 14,000 acres on public and private lands. It is 15 percent contained. Accurate mapping of the fire has been hindered by dense smoke obscuring the flame front.
The fire has caused local law enforcement to close about 30 miles of U.S. 264 between Stumpy Point and Engelhard. The road closure is due to the fire’s proximity, dense smoke, and burned-out utility poles and power lines causing safety concerns to travelers. Fire managers are working to contain the fire south of Jackson and Maple roads, west of U.S. 264 from Pains Bay north, north of 2nd Avenue, and east of Barge Canal.
The fire is currently affecting private lands, N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission gamelands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge lands, U.S. Air Force lands and property owned by The Nature Conservancy. There are currently 66 personnel fighting this wildfire, not including local and regional cooperators. In addition to personnel there are 14 Type 6 engines (pickup trucks with water tanks and pumps), 11 fire dozers, one helicopter, three single-engine air tankers (SEAT), one patrol plane, one lead plane and two water tenders. The N.C. Forest Service will be transitioning management of this fire to a Type 2 incident management team today.
Clemmons Road Fire, Brunswick County
The Clemmons Road Fire in Brunswick County is currently about 1,600 acres and is 70 percent contained. Battling this wildfire are 27 personnel, four Type 6 engines, eight fire dozers, one helicopter, three SEATs, one patrol plane and one lead plane. This fire is being managed by the N.C. Forest Service Whiteville District’s Type 3 incident management team.
Stateline Fire, Cherokee National Forest
The Stateline Fire, which started in the Cherokee National Forest on Saturday,is burning along the Tennessee and North Carolina state line. This fire is 1,068 acres, with the majority being on the Tennessee side of the state line, and is 60 percent contained. There is a Type 3 interagency incident management team battling this fire. The 83 personnel are working to contain the fire in the next day or so on the North Carolina side and to start sending personnel home. Work on this fire included four hand crews, three Type 6 Engines, one fire dozer and one helicopter.
For information on any of these fires, contact Brian R. Haines, public information officer with the N.C. Forest Service, at 919-857-4828.