Fire crews are monitoring hot spots and assessing the damage from a wildfire that still smolder in Pitt County. Officials reported Friday just before noon that 251 acres were scorched.
The fire is contained. Forestry officials are sending up a scout plane this afternoon to make sure the fire lines are holding.
The investigation into how exactly the fire started continues today. Last night, forestry officials told WITN News a legal land clearing project started the blaze.
As one point, Pitt County had 21 pieces of fire equipment on the scene from eight departments and two EMS units. Overall, more than 150 people battled the blaze.
Planes and helicopters were called in to drop retardant and water onto the blaze.
The 200 plus acre fire stretched for miles all caused by what forestry calls a legal land clearing project.
Fire officials say it was lit a couple days ago and due to the winds, humidity, and temperature it spotted into a pine plantation. Once it spotted the pine plantation it was wind driven from there. Then it was a matter of getting resources on it to contain it.
Those resources spent all Thursday afternoon battling jumping hot spots due to the wind gusts. It took a bevy of brave men and women to keep it under control.
Over eight fire departments with over 109 firefighters helped knock down the smoke and flames. No one was injured.
Crews say they plan to keep crews monitoring the situation to make sure hot spots don't jump from one field to the next.
Forestry officials brought in plows to help dig fire lines.
Emergency officials on the scene say no houses have been affected.
Wind gusts were as high as 30 miles per hour when the fire started to spread.
Other fires that sparked Thursday which are now under control were off of Creek Road in Pitt County and 5th and 15th Streets in the Beaufort County town of Washington.