Wildfire Slowly Coming Under Control

Tractor plow on forest fire
A fireplug at work in Holly Shelter. (Courtesy Pender Emergency Management)

Forest Service crews from Columbus County are among those attacking the Juniper Road Two wildfire in Pender County.

The fire apparently ignited from a lightning strike in the Holly Shelter Game Lands Aug. 9, Phillip Jackson of the N.C Forest Service said. The fire quickly spread since Pender is considered abnormally dry in the state Drought Monitor. Strong winds from offshore pushed the flames as well.

The fire jumped containment lines Aug. 10, but teams using aircraft, plows and strike teams were able to maintain the second fireline. Acreage stood at just over 1,200 acres Monday (today). While much of the fire is on the surface, some areas of bog have caught fire as well, creating underground fires that are difficult to extinguish.

An encroaching weather front assisted the fire teams Sunday and today, as winds shifted to a more favorable direction, away from inhabited areas. 

Complicating matters is the topography of the area. The fire is within the footprint of the 30,000-plus acre 2011 Juniper Road fire, which burned for months. The decomposing material from that blaze has caused the ground to be too soft for fire suppression equipment. Anticipated daily rainstorms through Thursday could also help the effort, but some of the ground could also become too boggy to work. 

Personnel and equipment from the Columbus N.C. Forest Service office are involved in the fire suppression efforts. More than 60 personnel from multiple agencies are currently on the scene.

An emergency vehicle near the fire scene Saturday. In the background is the smoke plume from the Juniper Road 2 Fire. (Pender EM Photo)

The smoke column from the fire was readily visible in Columbus County Friday and Saturday.
Holly Shelter is one of the state’s largest gamelands and state forests. It stretches more than 20 miles across country from Burgaw to the Hampstead area.

“The Shelter” is a destination for hunters, birdwatchers, primitive campers, horse- and off-road bicycle riders, and hikers.

  • Maze Craze
    Business

    Maze Craze Opening Day Gallery

    Maze Craze at Galloway Farm in Hallsboro opened on Saturday, Sept. 24, for their 2022 season. This year, the farm has partnered with Netflix to bring the ‘Outer Banks’ (OBX) to Columbus County.   The [Read More]
  • Kindness Rocks from the Juniorettes
    Front Page

    The Good News for Sept. 23-Oct. 1

    A taste of fall weather is in the air, and cooler temperatures mean more time outside. This weekend presents the perfect opportunity to find your way through a maze or enjoy some Southern cooking at [Read More]
  • Iona (Dawson) Apple
    Obituaries

    Iona (Dawson) Apple

    November 30, 1935 ~ September 23, 2022 (age 86) Iona Dawson Apple, 86, of 588 Otis & Donnell Nixon Road, Evergreen, NC, died Friday, September 23, 2022, at Columbus Regional Healthcare System.  Arrangements will be announced by Peoples [Read More]
  • The suspects are dropped off and walk from house to house, checking for unlocked vehicles. (BCSO photo)
    Front Page

    Car Break-in Crew Hits Bladen, Columbus

    Deputies in Columbus and Bladen counties are investigating a rash of car breakins that occurred Thursday night. The same gang of thieves is thought to have broken into vehicles in Bladen and northern Columbus Counties. [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 1326 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of columbuscountynews.com and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@columbuscountynews.com.