Windy, warm weather brings wildfires

Posted March 23, 2011

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— Near-record warmth and high winds have 87 counties across North Carolina on alert for fire danger through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

With forecast highs in the low 80s, winds gusting to 30 mph and humidity below 30 percent, any fires that ignite would spread quickly.

The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources reported two fires Wednesday afternoon – one encompassing 30 acres in Hoke County and another over 12 acres in western Sampson County. No homes were in danger and the fires were under control, officials said.

A major fire was burning in 15 acres of woods along White Woods Road near Salemburg, according to Ronald Bass with the Sampson County Emergency Management. Bass said multiple fire departments were fighting the fire which may have damaged one home.

Wildfire in Sampson County Raw: Wildfire in Sampson County

Bass said other fires flared up in woods on Spell, Green Path and Boykin Bridge roads, but no damage to property was associated with those fires. 

Officials asked state residents to avoid burning outdoors Wednesday and Thursday until the danger of fire had passed. Instead of burning outdoors, officials suggest that brush be composted or piled until after the next soaking rainfall.

The threat will pass by evening as a cold front brings temperatures back down into a more normal range.

By 3 p.m., the temperature had topped out at 79 degrees at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The forecast high is 82. That is about 20 degrees above normal and just shy of the record for March 23 (86 degrees, set in 1948).

Temperatures the rest of the week will peak at about 60 degrees. The cold front brings a chance rain developing over the weekend and sticking around into next week.


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  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Mar 23, 2011

    It was a really beautiful day again today!!

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Mar 23, 2011

    Who's betting that we don't see a drop tonight? Either way, breezy, scratch that, down right gail force like tomorrow. AGAIN!

    When does it end WRAL? Good grief Gertrude.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Mar 23, 2011

    What the heck is an unadulterated rock oh chief one? When is this relentless wind going to give it up? Day 43 and counting. I have trash to burn and I'm sick of waiting. No more I say.

    And yes, that head was bobblin' like unadulterated stew.

  • lma1973 Mar 23, 2011

    Its unreal...there is still some piled up near the curb at the end of the street! It will prob be there til this summer.

  • Hans Mar 23, 2011

    LOL. You still got that brime pile out in the alley, lma? It hasn't rained more than a few drops in about 3 months now.

  • lma1973 Mar 23, 2011

    For all you newcomers to the area, just wait til you see a brime fire. Yes they are very dangerous and can spread quickly but they are quite a beautiful sight. The flames crackle and spark and emit some of the most brilliant colors you will see this side of the 4th of July.

  • lma1973 Mar 23, 2011

    Well it looks like with the low humidity and warm temps that there is a good chance of brime fires in the Triangle this afternoon. Might be a good day for Smokey The Brime Bear to go to the area elementary schools and speak to the chillrin.

  • tobywilliamson58 Mar 23, 2011

    This just in: Folks, gather your shovels and load the brime! It has been proven through a recent study that brime will make your grass greener, and it's free! You don't have to buy it in bags anymore! Just be careful of the traffic, it's a doozy!!

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Mar 23, 2011

    AirBDaddy, If we don't get several hurricanes this year, we will be out of water by August or September. Will hurricanes actually materialize this year, unlike the last decade, nope. So what's the result? Vacillating hurricane reports again all season long and you not being able to flush by late summer. And it may happen sooner than that! What doesn't burn up or dry out from the fires, record temps, daily gail force winds and rain predication after rain forecast that fails to deliver will be few and far between.

  • Skywatch_NC Mar 23, 2011

    85 yesterday for a high and by next Tuesday at 45! Crazy!