PENDER COUNTY -- What started out as a small controlled burn in Pender County spread like wildfire. Emergency crews battled the blaze for hours yesterday and are still managing the mess. Dozens of Pender County firefighters, emergency management and forest service officials are still in the Harrison Creek Road area, off of Highway 210, cleaning up after yesterday's fire and believe it or not monitoring yet another controlled burn. Billowing clouds of smoke filled the sky in Pender County Monday after a controlled burn got out of control. Emergency Management director Eddie King says developers who had a burn permit to clear land were supposed to contain the blaze to a 15-20 acre area. But windy weather fueled the fire and caused it to spread quickly. Many of our viewers were surprised to learn the developers were granted a burn permit in these weather conditions but we found out no one has to approve a burn permit. It's simply a paperwork formality to let officials know you'll be doing a burn. Tuesday developers continue to burn, attempting to finish the job they started. King said, "There is still active fire. At this point, it is contained. Our fear is we don't know what was deposited outside of the line, when the wind was hot that could essentially just be laying there, waiting for weather conditions to get just right this afternoon." King assures us that burn will be monitored throughout the day and into this evening. He adds red flag advisories don't necessarily mean burn bans are in effect. There hasn't been a burning ban in Pender County in more than five years. As for personal property, forest service officials say the damage was minor. No one was hurt and no homes were damaged.
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