SUPPLY — The Green Swamp Preserve wildfire has grown by 4,500 acres in the last 24 hours.
According to the N.C. Forest Service, multiple factors play into its spread and size, now 16,000 acres.
“The area of the Preserve where this fire is burning has not seen fire of any kind since the 1950s,” NCFS Agency Administrator Tommy Sports said in a release. “Fuels have built up for about 70 years. Vegetation is thick.”
A determination has been made in its cause. It started from a prescribed burn that was conducted Tuesday, June 13, by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The commission controlled it on roughly 400 acres. They worked to extinguish it through Wednesday and upon returning to survey the site Thursday, noticed it had reignited.
Many of the swamp’s areas are dense and hard to get to so the commission called on N.C. Forest Service to help with the containment. The NCFS took over the fire’s management at that time.
“NCFS determined the best and safest tactic would be to conduct backfiring operations to reduce unburned fuels while weather conditions were favorable,” a release from the N.C. Wildfire Commission noted.
Crews have been implementing strategic operations to bring the fire’s edge to N.C. Highway 211 in order to help contain it. This provides access for firefighters to move more safely.
Currently, the fire is at 0% containment.
Due to the fire, Highway 211 closed this afternoon between Little Macedonia and Camp Branch roads until further notice. A detour is set up around Camp Branch, Makatoka and Little Macedonia roads.
Significant smoke is still permeating the area, with winds expected to increase overnight; it will push the smoke south and west of the area.
Travelers around NC Highway 211 may find visibility compromised and should stay alert and cautious.
There are no injuries and no structures threatened at this time.
Due to the wildfire, the Green Swamp Nature Preserve remains closed.
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