Strong wind allowed the fire to grow to about 300 acres Monday before fire lines were completed, said Brian Haines, who is the public information officer for the state agency. The fire is located near NC 53, NC 41 and NC 210.
Tuesday, crews “used strategic firing on about 250 acres to burnout fuels between fire lines and the main fire, which increased its footprint to approximately 553 acres and containment to about 50 percent,” Haines said. “(Tuesday’s) operations not only helped to strengthen containment lines, but was also the safest strategy for firefighters as the fire is burning in pocosin bays with thick vegetation.”
No homes nor structures are being threatened as of Tuesday night, authorities said. Firefighters are expected to be on scene Wednesday to work on hot-spots and improve containment lines, the news release said.
People near the wildfire may notice the presence of smoke. The wildfire is burning in organic soils and some groundfire is present, which tends to smolder and smoke for extended periods of time, the news release said. Highways and communities may be impacted by the smoke.
Depending on wind direction and a possible combination of fog, visibility on surrounding highways may be severely limited, especially in the morning and evening hours, the Forest Service noted. Residents are encouraged to avoid these areas as much as possible, and if they must drive, to use headlights, slower driving speeds, and allow extra time for travels.
There were 24 firefighters from the N.C. Forest Service working Tuesday along with 25 from volunteer fire departments and county emergency management. Fire departments helping to continue the blaze over the past two days were from White Lake, Kelly, Rowan, Hickory Grove, Bladenboro, Bay Tree Lakes and Elizabethtown.