Thursday, February 9, 2023

Juniper Road Two Fire about half the size originally estimated, flight restrictions in place

N.C. Forest Service and local units from Pender and Onslow counties remain on site at Holly Shelter Game Lands battling the wildfire, now estimated to be around 1,200 acres. (Courtesy/Onslow County Emergency Management)

HAMPSTEAD — The Juniper Road Two Fire continues to burn at the Holly Shelter Game Lands, with crews on site through the day Friday.

Originally estimated at 2,000 acres in size, firefighters have been able to obtain a more accurate measurement. A press release states the blaze actually covers around 1,230 acres and is still at roughly 25% containment.

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

Thursday, personnel continued to clear vegetation down to the soil creating lines to box in the wildfire and plow additional areas to prevent further spread. These efforts will continue through Friday with 31 personnel from the N.C. Forest Service on site, as well as a dozen tractor plow units, a helicopter, two single-engine air tankers and one scout and lead plane.

Weather conditions, including cloudy skies and high relative humidity, are helping to keep the fire behavior and movement at bay. Friday’s forecast and weather patterns will continue to be monitored.

The press release states there are still no structures threatened at this time, but the public is urged to “remain vigilant.” The associated smoke may create hazardous road conditions during the evening hours, as the fire remains about 2 miles from Highway 50.

With aviation support helping to battle the fire, a temporary flight restriction is in effect. All civilian aircraft, manned and unmanned, are required to stay at least 5 miles away from the area. This restriction will remain in place until further notice.

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