FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – A large woods fire that started March 7 in southeastern Cumberland County has burned an estimated 250-300 acres and is approximately 60% contained as of March 8, Wednesday afternoon. The N.C. Forest Service had deployed bulldozers to dig containment lines, commonly known as fire breaks, to contain the fire and keep it from spreading.
“The fire is still burning. It is about 60% containment at this point,” said Michael Good, the District 6 Forester with N.C. Forest Service. “We are using bulldozers to install containment lines, which cuts off fuel for the fire and prevents it from spreading.”
Vander and Cedar Creek fire departments were dispatched to a woods fire at 4918 Dudley Road in eastern Cumberland County at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7. Responding units arrived to find a large woods fire endangering several homes. Ten homes in the area were evacuated.
One structure sustained minor damage, but no homes were destroyed, as had been reported by some news media. There have been no injuries. Heavy smoke will remain in the area for days. Emergency Services and firefighters are monitoring the area. Motorists are advised to use caution on the roads.
More than 60 personnel responded to the fire from Vander, Cedar Creek, Beaver Dam, Stedman, Grays Creek Station 18, Bethany, Eastover, Cotton, Godwin-Falcon, and Wade fire departments in Cumberland County and Ammon Fire Department in Bladen County, Cumberland County Emergency Management, the Cumberland County Fire Marshal’s Office, N.C. Forest Service, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation.
Good said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. He said Tuesday’s high winds and a sharp drop in humidity made for weather conditions which contributed to the large size of the woods fire.
The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement today for increased fire danger for Cumberland and surrounding counties, with winds from the north and northeast sustained at 10-15 mph with gusts as high as 15-25 mph. These winds combined with the low relative humidity levels and very dry fuels will increase the risk of ignition and spread of wildfires today.
For more information about Emergency Services, visit cumberlandcountync.gov/emergencyservices or Facebook. For more information about the N.C. Forest Service, including social media, go to ncforestservice.gov.