Thursday, March 08, 2007

Controlled burn in NC goes out of control

A controlled burn that was being conducted by a local resident trying to reduce some overgrowth on his property located at High Rock Mountain Road on Walnut Mountain in Madison County North Carolina quickly got out of control and engulfed 50 acres with flames as high as 50 feet.

The wildfire required the combined cooperation between multiple local fire departments and the forest service. Eight local fire departments sent more than 24 firefighters to fight the fire as well as protecting neighboring homes from being damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.

The North Carolina Forest Service sent ground support to help fight the blaze as well as utilizing a forest service helicopter which scooped up water from a pond close to the blaze and made repeated dumps to suppress the fire. Fortunately the helicopter was stationed close by at the Asheville NC Regional Airport.

As of last night the fire departments still have vehicles parked in local residents' driveways and have been able to contain almost half the fire. The firefighters feel as though no more structures are under serious threat but they will continue to work throughout today.

Because of continued dry conditions and relatively high winds the National Weather Service's Greer, South Carolina had to issue a fire danger statement for most of Western NC.

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