BALD HEAD ISLAND — Several structures were engulfed in flames on Bald Head Island Saturday evening.
Multiple first responders were dispatched around 8 p.m., including fire crews from Bald Head Island, Southport, Sunny Point, Leland, Boiling Springs, Oak Island, Shallotte, Northwest, Winnabow, and St. James Rescue, as well as the Coast Guard and marine patrol. Fires were spreading to homes on the island, into the woods and brush, and the golf course at Bald Head Island Club.
The 5.8-mile island and resort — reached only by a 20-minute ferry or boat ride, and traversed by foot, bike or golf cart — has around 1,120 private residences with 220 year-round residents. It consists of 12,000 acres, 10,000 of which are protected and only 2,000 developed. Fire threatened 10 structures at one point, though only six have been reported damaged.
Crews tapped in and out throughout the evening to contain the fires. Water remained the most valuable asset, as hydrants dried out and tankers from Sunny Point and Sunset Harbor were ferried to the scene. So far, no injuries have been reported.
Below is a timeline of events Port City Daily updated live as the fires raged.
The Bald Head Island Department of Public Safety reported at 9:05 p.m. crews are fighting a structure fire at Lighthouse Landing. Arrival conditions by first Bald Head Island fire unit located four residential structures fully involved.
Around 9:30 p.m., public safety alerts — streamed in real time here — note up to 10 homes are at risk near the 114 N. Bald Head Island Wynd address.
At 9:38 p.m, according to the Southport Fire Department, five structures are now fully involved in the fire.
A first responder asked at 9:45 p.m. if extra resources were needed on the site. The response was clear: “Send more manpower.”
Around 9:53 p.m. a roof line is reported in danger of collapse, as fire crews back off from the structure.
9:55 p.m. a sixth structure is 50% involved. Water is running low, crews are calling for supply tankers from the mainland.
Around 10:10 p.m. Bolivia and Carolina Beach first responders report to help. Also on the scene, New Hanover County, Sunset Harbor / Zion Hill, and Tri-Beach firefighters.
10:39 p.m. more tankers and brush trucks arrive, the latter head to Stede Bonnet Wynd. Firefighters are instructed to check the golf course for hot spots. Coast Guard inquires if and how they can help — firefighter’s response: “We are going to be here for awhile.”
At 10:43 p.m. there is loss of a hydrant, with calls for more tankers from the mainland.
10:44 p.m. Bald Head Island Ferry, which normally runs its last route at 11:30 p.m., will hang over until 3 a.m.
At 10:45 p.m. The State Port Pilot reports Southport Fire Chief Charles Drew said the fire is now under control.
10:53 p.m. Kure Beach first responders report to the scene and are ordered to stand by at the Southport Fire Department staging area.
11:24 p.m. Southport/Oak Island unit is sent back to the mainland.
12:03 a.m. tankers are completely out of water.
2:30 a.m. Leland Fire Engines 51 and 53 return home safely.
Have tips or comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org