UPDATE: Brush fire under control, NC 211 to reopen
SUPPLY, N.C. (WECT) - N.C. Department of Transport Southern Coast reported on social media that N.C. 211 will reopen to traffic at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
According to the tweet, equipment is being removed from the highway and the brush fire has been brought under control.
The section of the NC 211 was first closed on Monday due to a brush fire in Greens Swamp Reserve, Brunswick County. The blocked section runs from just north of Middle River Road to Camp Branch Road NW.
At about noon on Wednesday morning, a trooper said he is told that the fire has been contained and the smoke has mostly lifted, but crews are still at work cutting trees which could fall in the road.
Forest Service representatives estimate the fire’s size to have been around 568 acres, but the intense smoke made estimation difficult. Currently, no structures or homes are threatened.
An NC Forest Service official said the fire, known as Driving Creek Fire, was most likely caused by a stray lightning strike late last week.
The official said drought and wind didn’t help, and that lots of dead wood, dry pine straw and soil added fuel to the fire. The surrounding community was impacted by significant smoke.
The public is advised to refrain from flying drones in the area as it compromises safety and interferes with firefighting efforts. According to the Forest Service news release, flying drones near a wildfire is unauthorized activity and, “individuals in violation of this law will be subject to civil penalties, fines and criminal prosecution. It’s important to remember that if you fly, we can’t.”
Drivers are advised to find alternative routes while crews work to control the fire.
“The detour travels into Columbus County, and is as follows: U.S. 17, N.C. 130, U.S. 701 Business, U.S. 74/76 to return to N.C. 211. NCDOT urges drivers to take the detour into account when planning travel and avoid N.C. 211 in the area,” writes the NCDOT.
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