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Firefighters battle weekend brush fires in five counties

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WILMINGTON -- Saturday was a busy day for firefighters. Crews from all five nearby counties battled sometimes intense brush fires. The worst hit was Columbus County, which reported seven brush fires since four Sunday morning. Bladen County reported six fires. One of them required five fire departments and a plane to dump water. Brunswick County reported five brush fires. Pender County had four. New Hanover County had one brush fire to report. Fire units from Castle Hayne, Wrightsboro and the Division of Forestry responded to the fire off of Blue Clay Road around 2:30. Officials say the fire started when a resident was burning trash in his yard. Dry conditions and high winds caused the fire to get out of control. The state lifted the burn ban nearly a month ago and this newest rash of wildfires has officials extremely concerned. There are no state and local burn bans in effect, but people are urged to use caution when burning. If you do decide to burn debris in your yard, fire officials recommend you make sure the area around the burn site is wet and you have a shovel and hose on hand.

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