A wildfire in Brunswick County burned about 500 acres of woods on Monday, but firefighters were able to protect 89 homes from being destroyed, according to the state forestry service.
The fire, which was in the Mount Misery area near Leland, was reported at about 2 p.m., according to Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner. The fire was under control by 7:30 p.m.
No one was injured in the fire, Garner said. Five homes on Heirloom Drive were damaged from the fire, but no homes were destroyed. The American Red Cross assisted one family whose windows were opened and the house “filled up with smoke,” Garner said.
“There was one outbuilding that was totally destroyed and three that were damaged,” Garner said. “There were some fences destroyed, a boat that was damaged and a couple other damaged items.”
Residents of about 75 homes on Heirloom Drive and Butler Road–both off Mount Misery Road–were evacuated Monday afternoon. North Brunswick High School opened for evacuees, but evacuation orders were lifted by about 7 p.m.
“This was a big fire. This was probably the worst one we had in a long time. This was probably the worst we had since the Lakewood fire,” Garner said, referring to a wildfire near Ocean Isle Beach that burned 50 acres in 2007.
The N.C. Forestry Service responded with eight tractor plows, three single-engine air tankers, two helicopters and a scout plane to survey the fire.
“Fire crew-wise, we had Leland, Navassa, Northwest, New Hanover County, Winnabow, Southport, Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Supply and had some others on standby,” Garner said. “The sheriff’s department had 15 to 20 deputies up there helping us secure the neighborhoods, doing traffic control, helping evacuate people.”
The cause of the fire has not been determined. Garner said N.C. Forestry Service officials were working to determine the cause and would likely release information on the cause later this week.