Local News

Strong Winds Clear Air Near Stump Dump Fire

Strong wind gusts are helping to clear the air around the stump dump fire that has been burning since Monday in Johnston County.

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CLAYTON, N.C. — Strong winds and dry conditions are typically the perfect combination for wildfires. But those same conditions are actually helping crews fight a stump dump fire that just won't die.

The wind is clearing the air in those neighborhoods that have been filled with smoke for the last several days, but crews are taking steps to make sure the dry conditions don't create even more problems.

The fire that has burned for six days at the stump dump on Loop Road continues to smolder and spit out plenty of smoke. But wind gusts out of the south-southwest are pushing the plumes into the woods behind the stump dump yard.

Firefighters are worried, however, that strong winds could dump embers into the woods and create an even bigger fire. They have been spraying the perimeter with water and foam to prevent that from happening.

Temperatures inside the hottest spots underground have reached as high as 1200 degrees. In an effort to put the underground fire out, crews are digging a 20-foot trench and filling it with foam and water from a nearby lagoon.

Fire officials are hoping the fire will spread to that hole. It would act as a chimney, firefighters say, forcing the fire to burn faster and with less smoke. If that doesn't work, they'll keep pouring water on the flames.


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