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Wildfire rages on nearly 1,000 acres in Cumberland County

Posted February 21, 2011
Updated February 22, 2011

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— A wildfire raged in Cumberland County near the Bladen County line Monday, burning about 1,000 acres of woods along Tabor Church Road, near N.C. Highway 53, authorities said.

Dozens of firefighters were at the scene Monday night trying to get the blaze under control. The North Carolina Forest Service said the fire was 25-30 percent contained as of 10:30 p.m.

The fire was sparked Monday afternoon and quickly spread to 600 acres of woodland in the Cedar Creek area. It engulfed about 1,000 acres within hours.

A forest service spokesman said the fire was deep in the woods and crews were having difficulty getting to it.

Authorities said that two planes dropped fire retardant on the fire and a surveillance aircraft flew overhead to monitor the spread of flames.

Five bulldozers were also on site digging fire breaks, but soft ground made them hard to maneuver, authorities said.

Crews backed off their efforts dramatically after nightfall, but said they would be back to work Tuesday morning.

cumberland fire Cumberland fire stretches 800 acres, spreads quickly

Fast-moving flames crept close to Claudia Bridges' nearby home, down Cedar Creek Road.

"[We] don't know which way the fire is going to go. We are just on pins and needles," Bridges said.

Miles away, forest service workers tried to predict the fire's next move in their operations center near the Fayetteville Regional Airport.

"It is challenging figuring out where you want to put resources," said Phil Wallace with the forest service. "The high winds are really pushing the fire today."

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, authorities said.

Forestry officials said 95 fires were contained across the state Monday, covering 401 acres. Another 22 fires totaling 831 acres, including a 600-acre fire in Cumberland County, were not contained as of 5:30 p.m. The fire grew to engulf 800 acres in flames about 7:30 p.m., according to forestry officials.

Wildfires popped up across the state over the weekend due to dry conditions, warm temperatures and gusty winds. The threat of wildfires continued Monday, a Forest Service spokesman said.


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  • tobywilliamson58 Feb 23, 2011

    Smokers, go figure!

  • enck723 Feb 23, 2011

    it was to long. I could not read any of it

  • beachboater Feb 22, 2011

    Believe it or not, a large number of wild fires start from burn barrels in people's yards. Burning GARBAGE, which IS illegal.

    It's getting pretty dry, and with the wind like it's been for the last several days, it is certainly not a good time to burn.

    The forrestry service does an excellent job controlling wild fires. That is one part of their job. The volunteers that you see out fighting these fires are just that, volunteers. They are away from their jobs and families for no pay whatsoever. Their only compensation is the satisfaction of helping their communities.

    Please don't burn on a windy day, and anytime you burn have a garden hose available and watch the fire until it is cold.

  • hfweather Feb 22, 2011

    u have a memory loss?u said some things twice now,we got it the 1st time,u hear this people?A CONTROLLED BURN AND NOT BY SMOKERS ONCE AGAIN!!!

  • elmer Feb 22, 2011

    this fire was not on tabor church road it was on johnson road and hwy 53

  • elmer Feb 22, 2011

    talked with forestry service today about this fire. he said it started 6 days ago from a controlled burn near by

  • pimpcje Feb 22, 2011

    thats sad dude

  • elmer Feb 22, 2011

    today talked with some of the forestry folks they said this fire started from a control burn that was started 6 days ago. it was not started by joe blow from next door

  • hfweather Feb 22, 2011

    its not against the law to burn today,so burn baby burn

  • elmer Feb 22, 2011

    Just wanted to give a big thanks to the vol.firemen from each station that was involved in this fire last night the state forestry service and the rest. they gave us a little piece of mind working this fire as we live next to where it was burning and to Brandon who lives near by that offered a place to stay if we had to leave. we are so thankful