|« DuPont State Forest supporters fear transfer||State parks debut 'Pocket Ranger' app »|
Update: The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources said Sunday is has determined that a lightning strike caused the fire on the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Earlier speculation focused on arson.
The fire, which started May 5, has consumed some 25,000 acres, but firefighters had it 75 percent contained Sunday night.
Look for updates on the Pains Bay fire here.
A wildfire burning since Thursday has engulfed nearly 21,000 acres of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge while wind, low humidity and state budget cuts hamper efforts to fight the blaze.
The state-owned CL 215 "Super Scooper," which has the capability to scoop up 1,621-3,000 gallons of water and drop it on fires, is not available to firefighters. It has been grounded to save money, Tom Crews, fire management officer for the refuge and incident commander on this fire, told the press Monday according to the Outer Banks Sentinel.
A Type 1 helicopter, which carries about a third of what the CL 215 can scoop up, was being used to fight the fire from the air Sunday.
The fire began in wetlands between Pains Bay and Parched Corn Bays on the south side of U.S. Highway 264 just south of Stumpy Point, a tiny fishing village on Dare County mainland, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By Tuesday morning it had burned 20,954 acres.
A 10-mile section of U.S. 264 between Stumpy Point and Engelhard was closed Tuesday morning. A temporary flight restriction is in effect in the airspace above the fire.
On Monday the fire was approaching Stumpy Point, according to the Virginian Pilot, and it was possible that the 220 or so residents would be evacuated.
Crews told The Associated Press that arson and human carelessness may have caused the fire. "From the air, there were three fires spotted in one location, and that is suspicious," he said.
Trackback address for this post
Feedback awaiting moderation
This post has 507 feedbacks awaiting moderation...