CRESWELL, N.C. (WNCT)  – A landowner has been charged in connection to the Last Resort Fire that’s been burning since last Friday in Tyrrell County.

NC Forest Service public information officer Phil Jackson told WNCT’s Abigail Velez on Friday that Richard Hughes, 68, of Windsor, has been charged with willfully or negligently setting fire to woods and fields, which according to state law is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Jackson said the landowner was burning debris in or around their property. The debris fire crossed containment lines and started the wildfire.


The NC Forest Service reports as of 4 p.m. Thursday the fire remains at 5,293 acres in size and 48% contained. One of the main issues is getting water to the areas to fight the fire. Officials said the distance between the water sources and the fire area is making it difficult to battle the fire.

“Irrigation systems are wetting the fire area along Western Road,” the NC Forest Service said in a media release. “Firefighting personnel have established pump sites at Phelps Lake and a fresh water canal alongside Seagoing Road. Water pumps are expected to be in service and moving water Thursday evening.”

Officials also said cooler temperatures and the recent rain have helped with the smoke issues. Communities like Roper and Plymouth in Washington County can expect to continue to smell smoke overnight and into Friday.

Operational resources working the fire include 79 personnel from the N.C. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are no injuries and no homes or businesses have been impacted.