Pender County wildfire remains 25% contained

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – A large wildfire continues to burn in Pender County, and now spans at least 2,000 acres.

What is now being called the Juniper Road 2 Fire is slowly headed east toward highway 50, crews working hard to contain it.

According to the North Carolina Forest Service no buildings or people are in danger but are hopeful some rain Friday may help to douse the fire imprint.

As of Thursday the fire is holding at 2,000 acres with scouts in the air monitoring the perimeter, operations and behavior have gone as planned, according to the Forest Service, cloud cover and humidity working in their favor.

The Forest Service confirmed lighting strike ignited the fire August 2, within the interior of the game lands.

Difficult terrain and changing weather patterns, like wind gusts and low relative humidity creating a challenge.

Also a challenge, the high heat index – Pender County EMS on stand by, according to Carrie McCullen with the North Carolina Forest Service

“We are working really closely with our emergency management folks, there are structural fire fighters on standby right now,” she said.

“It’s all to the east of Holly Shelter Game Land, so it runs in a north to south direction,” said McCullen.

Most think wildfires are more predominant on the West Coast –   but according to McCullen, the Tarheel State is one of the leading states in the number of wildfires fire personnel battle every year.

“They have very large fires, but you know as far as numbers go we hold our own quite well in North Carolina as far as the number of fires,” she said.  “Unfortunately debris burning is one of the leading causes for wildfires.”

North Carolina has acres of wild lands that can easily burn from both lightning strikes and human activity.

“So folks that have backyard piles, things that they want to burn, can be one of the causes,” she said. “It’s very easy for our forested areas to catch fire.”

Forest service concerned come night fall of the smoke that could cause hazardous road conditions into Thursday evening and overnight.

The N.C. Forest Service want to reminder to the public – keep personal drones away from the wildfires – they are unauthorized.

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