Wildfire at Holly Shelter Game Lands 90 percent contained, team begins demobilizing
PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Forest Service and other agencies began responding to a wildfire at the Holly Shelter Game Lands on Wednesday, August 10.
Officially known as the Juniper Road Two Fire, current estimates place its size at 1,226 acres with 90 percent contained as of Monday, August 22. No buildings have been threatened by the fire during the course of its existence.
Since the fire is mostly contained, the Forest Service announced on August 22 that the Pender County Ranger with support from the N.C. Forest Service District 8 will take over command of the fire, replacing the incident management team that began managing the fire on August 13. Drone flights and patrols will be continued until the fire is declared cold.
The temporarily flight restriction is still in effect, no civilian aircraft are allowed within five miles of the fire.
On August 2nd, there was a small 10-acre fire believed to have started from a lightning strike. Crews kept an eye on it, but the fire reignited on Wednesday, August 10 due to poor weather conditions.
Officials from Pender County initially said at around 1 p.m. on August 10 the fire was covering approximately 150 acres, but the Town of Holly Ridge then released an update at about 3 p.m. that the fire had grown to 1000 acres and that it’s expected to reach N.C. 50 to the west of the town. Crews on the scene told a WECT reporter that it had grown to over 1500 acres as of about 6 p.m.
The next day, August 11, the fire was estimated to be around 2,000 acres and 25% contained. Following more accurate mapping, that estimate was reduced to around 1,200 acres on August 12.
Though other agencies responded to the fire initially, the firefighting efforts have since been directed by the Forest Service.
The Forest Service brought on a Type 2 Incident Management Team to command fire operations on Saturday, August 13.
The fire was estimated to be 1,226 acres and is 43% contained as of 8 p.m. Sunday, August 14. At this point, there were 12 tractors with crews, one helicopter dropping water on the flames, one scout and one lead plane, two air tankers and 31 people from the Forest Service on the scene.
“Resources remaining on the incident include six tractor plows with six crewmen, one low ground pressure track vehicle, one scout and one lead plane, two single engine air tankers, one helicopter, and 62 NCFS personnel,” said the Forest Service on Tuesday, August 16.
“We can’t get complacent. History tells us from previous wildfires in this area that the vegetation can dry out quickly and areas that are still smoldering within the fire imprint can reignite available fuels,” Incident Commander Michael Cheek said in a Forest Service release on Tuesday. “We’re grateful for the rain we’ve received, but we’re not turning our backs to this fire.”
Estimates placed its size at 1,226 acres with 77 percent contained as of Thursday, August 18.
The N.C. Forest Service transitioned to a Type 3 Incident Management Team on August 19 as the fire became 79% contained. Estimates still place the fire’s size at 1,226 acres.
Estimates placed its size at 1,226 acres with 79 percent contained as of Friday, August 19.
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