Pender County wildfires continue to burn, force residents to evacuate
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There is another significant wildfire that has moved into Pender County. The Blueberry Farm Fire has rekindled and broken containment lines causing evacuations.
This fire is substantially smaller than the Juniper Road fire but also is much closer to homes.
“I can’t get another me but by the help of the Lord we can get another house,” said Lizzie Henry Road resident Lula Walker. “So we’ll just get the children, and we’ll leave.”
Saturday night evacuations were put in place in Ivanhoe on Lizzie Henry Road because of the Blueberry Farm Fire that ran from Sampson County into Pender County.
Lula Walker has lived off Lizzie Henry Road for over 15 years. This is not the first time she has been forced to evacuate due to wildfire. She says when it comes to these emergency situations, she puts safety first.
“I was scared the whole time thinking that one of these times our house won’t make it,” Walker said. “That’s the fear that I have, one of these times that the house isn’t going to make it.”
What fire officials say was a 90-acre wildfire broke containment lines and has grown to nearly 700 acres.
“We can contain it, we can monitor it but Mother Nature has to put it out,” said Sampson County Fire Ranger Grant Jones. “This fire here originated from a lightning strike which was nature. We’re hoping nature will put an end to it also.”
The early stages of the Blueberry Farm Fire are similar to that of the Juniper Fire on the other side of Pender County. Officials at that site were positive after recent progression.
“We definitely have, we see containment as an achievable goal right now,” Jones said.
With winds subsiding and a little bit of rain, weather conditions are holding the Juniper Road Fire in place.
There are now resources coming in from eight different states to help the North Carolina Forest Service begin to contain this fire.
“We’ve been able to go in and do what we call a direct attack with tractor plow units putting a line right against the fires edge,” said North Carolina Forest Service Spokesman Bruce MacDonald. “We’re having good success there and we’re hoping today maybe by tomorrow to finish and have a connection across the northern edge of the fire.”
The fire in the Holly Shelter Gameland has reached over 21,000-acres but according to officials it has not moved too much in the last couple of days. The blaze is currently 20 percent contained.
These separate fires along with others across the state have led Governor Bev Perdue to declare a State of Emergency in eastern North Carolina.