HOLLY RIDGE, N.C. (WNCT) — The forest fire that broke out in Pender County, not far from the Onslow County line, has been reassessed as crews continue to battle it.
N.C. Forest officials said Friday morning that 1,226 acres had been burned, after going through more accurate mapping of the impacted area. It remains at 25% contained.
Friday afternoon, officials said an inch of rain proved beneficial. However, it could impede the use of equipment on the fire lines due to the wet ground. Crews hoped to make major gains on Saturday after the wet weather and with cooler temperatures.
The fire was caused by a lightning strike on Tuesday, Aug. 2, well within the interior of the game lands.
The N.C. Forest Service is bringing in a Type 2 Incident Management Team to assume command of fire operations beginning Saturday.
“The presence of the Incident Management Team will allow us to bring in support staff to assist the existing operations personnel with their firefighting efforts,” said Michael Cheek, incident commander for the Type 2 team.
Personnel will continue to closely monitor changing weather conditions through the weekend as firefighters continue their containment operations. There are no structures threatened at this time. The public is being urged to remain vigilant and continue monitoring local news resources for additional information. Hazardous road conditions due to smoke and low cloud cover may be a factor during the evening and overnight hours.
A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in effect for the Juniper Road Two Fire. The TFR restricts all civilian aircraft, manned and unmanned, within 5 miles of the fire. The flight restriction remains in place until aviation support is no longer needed.
Operational resources working the fire include a dozen tractor plow units with crewmen, one helicopter, two single-engine air tankers, one scout and lead plane and 31 personnel from the N.C. Forest Service.