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Page Road closed as Durham firefighters battle grass fire

Posted February 27

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— Authorities closed Page Road near U.S. Highway 70 in Durham as firefighters battled a grass fire Monday afternoon.

The fire was reported at about 1:15 p.m., and Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi said gusty winds and dry conditions helped the flames spread quickly.

"Perfect conditions for a woods fire," Iannuzzi said.

No injuries were reported.

The 4-acre fire threatened the Foxridge Apartments nearby, but the complex wasn't evacuated. Firefighters had it mostly contained within two hours.

"There's a pretty good wind out here that's hampering efforts to get it out, but there are a lot of resources on the ground," Iannuzzi said. "It's just a matter of getting the water on it and getting it stopped from advancing because of this wind."

Large swaths of grass near power transmission lines were scorched, and firefighters were working to knock down flames in some nearby woods.

"We've got brush trucks with four-wheel drive. They've got pumps on them with water tanks, and they're getting out there and getting right up to the fire," Iannuzzi said. "But it is difficult because they've got to come back and refill because the tanks typically hold only 250 gallons."

Iannuzzi said the fire was first reported as a structure fire in a wooded area with at least one trailer. He said two abandoned trailers were destroyed. Authorities haven't determined the cause of the fire.

About 70 firefighters from the Durham Fire Department, Durham County Fire-Rescue, the Redwood Volunteer Fire Department and the Durham Highway Fire Department responded to the fire. Another 25 people from Durham County Emergency Management, the Durham Police Department, the Durham County Sheriff's Office, Durham County EMS and the North Carolina Forestry Service were assisting.

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