State News

Weather helps firefighters in Onslow County

Posted March 25, 2011

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— Training at Camp Lejeune last weekend sparked a massive wildfire that has burned through 9,500 acres and closed three schools Friday, according to state forestry officials.

The fire was about 40 percent contained Friday night, a post spokesman said.

Firefighters from multiple departments were continuing to work the lines late Friday night and were hoping for a soaking rain over the weekend. 

"Rain is a firefighter's best friend," North Carolina Forest Service spokesman Bill Swartley said. "The best thing we can have on this fire in terms of suppression is what falls out of the sky."

cumberland fire Safety tips for wildfire smoke

Dixon elementary, middle and high schools in Holly Ridge were closed because they are close to a hot spot.

Hundreds of people whose homes were evacuated Thursday have been allowed to come back, but authorities warned their return could be cut short if the fire spreads or flares up again.

All roads have been reopened. Authorities said local law enforcement was patrolling the roads and urged motorists to use caution due to the dense smoke. Wildfire strikes at Camp Lejeune Wildfire strikes at Camp Lejeune

The smoke also prompted Onslow County commissioners to declare a state of emergency late Thursday.

Swartley said the fire started last Saturday during a training exercise at a fire range in Camp Lejeune. It got out of control Thursday and spread into lands adjoining the military base.

Onslow County wildfires

View Onslow County wildfires in a larger map


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  • 6079 SMITH W Mar 25, 2011

    It does seem odd that eastern NC doesn't have a large tanker. We should at least pool up with SC and GA and consider somethin' like maybe a 747-based frog-strangler......;)

  • wasone Mar 25, 2011

    As the fire burns........ North Carolina's largest, most efficent and expensive airtanker sits on the ground in hickory and is being sold on ebay as we speak.

  • emawalton Mar 25, 2011

    lisapeters - This story doesn't make it very clear - the fire started last weekend and crews responded and put it out. The fire rekindled later in the week from an area that had apparently still been smoldering in a swampy area. The dry weather and the wind only made it go from bad to worse in a short time period.

  • lisapeters Mar 25, 2011

    This has to be the slowest response to a wildfire!!! This incident started LAST WEEKEND, I hope they respond more quickly to a disaster.

  • MOM-2-A-and-M Mar 25, 2011

    We live on the other side of Jacksonville, and I've been seeing the smoke all week. So scary!

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Mar 25, 2011

    Duck people, this will be the tired story all over NC all year long. The EPIC DROUGHT they barely talk about is going to take over all of our daily lives very soon. Hoard water now while it's still available.

  • MonkeyFace Mar 25, 2011

    This is right down the road from me. Seriously.. a few miles down..

  • Mom2two Mar 25, 2011

    Well the long-leaf pine trees are loving it!

  • MonkeyFace Mar 25, 2011

    This is right near my house! They have the detour set up before you get to my subdivision. I don't think I will be effected by it other that all the smoke an ash everywhere... I hate it for everyone thats effected by this.. it didn't look too bad this morning on my way out. So hopefully they've got a better control over it this morning!