Local News

100 Acres Burn in Fayetteville

Posted July 2, 1998

— A brush fire burned 100 acres of woods Friday bordering the Cliffdale West neighborhood and Fort Bragg.

Nearby residents were terrified when they saw flames heading their way, but firefighters said that the fire was under control.

"We could just see the flames, and it wasn't a big deal until the wind picked up, and the only thing I could think about was about the Florida burning," resident Tony Gleghorn said.

"I arrived on the scene and found a forest fire," Fort Bragg firefighter A.B. Crawford said. "It had consumed about thirty acres at the time. We began some containment activities at that time to try to save these homes along this western boundary."

No one was injured in this fire, and investigators do not know the cause. However, arson has not been ruled out.

Despite the dryness throughout N.C., there has not been a ban on burning issued for the state. There is still a definite risk for fire like the one in Cumberland County, especially with this weekend's fireworks.

So far this summer the state is experiencing an average number of forest fires, but a raging wildfire could ignite at any moment.

The fuel for a possible fire is spread all around. For example, the remnants of Hurricane Fran look innocent enough but they have the potential to be massive fire starters.

"That fuel just sits there and over time it just gets drier and drier and it's going to be pretty hot when it does burn," forest ranger Kevin Pittman said.

It is hard to believe that the state is more than 9.5 inches above normal for rain for the year. The ground is dry because there has been 11 days of 90 degree or higher temperatures.

Although some areas have been getting isolated showers, the brief rain can be deceiving.

"You have a day like this when it feels dry and people probably won't burn, but we'll get a night of rain and everythings wet and it's moist," Pittman said. "People think we can go out and do some burning, that's actually what you don't want to do."

Pittman says to be extremely cautious this weekend. The drier it gets the more vulnerable the brush is to being ignited.

"With things as dry as it is now, it can spread quickly especially if you have a little bit of wind blowing," Pittman said.

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