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Cumberland fire possibly lit by controlled burn

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) -- The owner of land ravaged by a still-burning fire in Cumberland County says she believes the fire started as a controlled burn and is questioning why state officials permitted it in the first place.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that Privateer Farm owner Sharon Valentine believes the fire began as a controlled burn on neighboring property.

Authorities say increasing winds sparked those smoldering remnants to ignite an explosive fire that has consumed some 1,000 acres so far.

Firefighters say the blaze is 40 percent contained but still threatens a nearby 3,400-acre wetlands restoration project.

Valentine is questioning why the state Forestry Service would permit a controlled burn during a series of red flag warnings that discourage outdoor burning.

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Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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