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Brush Fires Rage In Several Counties

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DURHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Gusty winds and dry air fed the flames of two dangerous brush fires on Saturday, and also prompted the state to issue a red-flag warning for eastern and central North Carolina.
  • On The Web:

    N.C. Department Of Forest Resources Fire Information Web Site

    In Moore County, firefighters from two counties fought a large woods fire that ignited early Saturday morning on Addor Road near Highway 15/501 south of Aberdeen.

    State Forestry Service officials said that more than 180 acres had burned Saturday. Authorities from Moore and Scotland counties joined forces to bring it under control, as a Forestry Service helicopter dumped water from nearby lakes on the blaze.

    There was no immediate word on whether any structures were damaged or endangered.

    More than 150 acres also burned Saturday afternoon in the Anderson Creek community in Harnett County.

    Authorities also said that more than 600 acres on Fort Bragg property also burned Saturday, but that the fire had been controlled. According to authorities, 35 structures were endangered during the fire, but none were damaged.

    Meanwhile, another fire endangered homes and structures near the intersection of Cheek Road and Junction Road in Durham County. Authorities said that the fire was had burned about five acres by late Saturday afternoon, but was mostly contained by fire lines.

    Another Durham Fire Endangers Shopping Center

    On Friday in Durham, five acres burned right beside several homes and businesses. The woods fire in Durham raced dangerously close to the Patterson Place shopping center and right up to the home where Neil Peedin's mother lives.

    "We saw a huge amount of smoke," Peedin said.

    Durham Battalion Chief Plummer Seward said the fire could smolder for weeks, but neighbors could see small flames for days.

    "The stumps and downed logs will burn most of the night, probably for the next two or three days," Seward said.

    The North Carolina Forestry Service is watching the fire closely. They surrounded the fire and started another one to eliminate any path for the fire to continue its spread.

    Investigators think tall bamboo hitting the power lines sparked the fire. But dry conditions have fire scenes like this one playing out across the state. State and local firefighters have responded to more than 3,000 wildfires this year -- 699 were in April alone.

    One fire near New Hill in Wake County re-ignited at least twice, burning more than 60 acres. Neighbors to another fire in Sampson County last week were packed and ready to leave home.

    In Durham, one neighborhood hopes it has seen the extent of the drama.

    "We will be watching it tonight, yes," said Peedin.

    The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a statement Saturday asking residents to suspend outdoor burning and compost brush until the area receives a substantial rainfall. They also warned that any brush fire that starts has the potential to become dangerous quickly under current conditions.

    The Forestry Service says the threat and the warnings will continue until the Triangle gets several consecutive days of heavy rain.