Monday, September 26, 2022

Fire in Holly Shelter Game Lands over half contained

Helicopter 11 does a water bucket drop on Aug. 15 ahead of a thunderstorm that brought in a half-inch of rain and helped with firefighting efforts. Juniper Road Two Fire is now 53% contained. (Courtesy N.C. Forest Service)

HAMPSTEAD —  A thousand-acre fire that has had more than 50 regional personnel fighting it since last week is being extinguished little by little after going into day seven.

The Juniper Road Two Fire takes up 1,226 acres on Holly Shelter Game Lands in Pender County and is 53% contained, according to the latest update from the N.C. Forest Service. Monday evening’s thunderstorms dropped a half-inch of rain on the fire area helping with the suppression.

READ MORE: 2,000 acres ablaze over 30 hours: Crews continue battling Holly Shelter Game Lands fire

“We can’t get complacent,” incident commander Michael Cheek said in a press release. “History tells us from previous wildfires in this area that the vegetation can dry out quickly and areas that are still smoldering within the fire imprint can reignite available fuels.”

Around 62 North Carolina Forest Service personnel still continue efforts alongside six tractor plows with six crewmen, one low ground pressure track vehicle, one scout and one lead plane, two single engine air tankers, one helicopter.

A temporary flight restriction went into effect Friday and remains in place. No civilian aircraft, manned or unmanned, is allowed within 5 miles of the fire. The mandate will remain until aviation support is relieved from firefighting duties.

Holly Game Shelter is the largest game land owned and managed by the state of North Carolina since 1939. Its main purpose is for conservation of wildlife, though it welcomes hunters annually, from September through January, who pursue deer, bear, turkey, fox, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel and dove. Hiking and camping are allowed year-round in designated areas and there is a shooting range.

There are no road closures in the area currently, but officials are asking residents to keep the routes clear to allow personnel to enter and exit safely.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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