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Forest Service: Fire 100 Percent Contained

By ! WCTI Staff
Published On: Mar 24 2011 10:29:40 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 30 2011 10:09:07 AM CDT
ONSLOW COUNTY -

Bill Swartley, with the Forest Service, said that the fire at Camp Lejeune has reach 100 percent containment.

Sunshine, warmer temperatures and lower relative humidity have returned to the SR-8 fire area. However, very little heat is reported to be coming from the fire perimeter and interior of this 9,566 acre wildfire.

The infrared reconnaissance flight that occurred this morning revealed few hotspots, led fire managers to declare the wildfire 100 percent contained by 6 PM this evening. With one inch or more of rain forecasted to occur with the next 24 to 72 hours, the Unified Command managing fire suppression is moving forward to transition the fire back to local resources.

The N.C. Forest Service Incident Management Team will close out their operations at the end of today?s operational shift and return to their home units. The few hot spots left on the fire will be monitored by fire fighting resources of Camp Lejeune.

Smoke from ground fire will likely persist for several days to a week or more, but will be localized. Ground fire is caused when organic soils, such as peat, begin to burn. The soils ignited when the wildfire?s flame front passed through vegetation over the soil. The ground fire is located on Camp Lejeune property in a 60-acre bay off Bridges Road and along South Pocosin Road, where peat-laden spoil piles have also ignited.

Smoke emanating from this ground fire coupled with light winds and an atmospheric temperature inversion led to the formation of superfog early this morning which temporarily closed US 17. The combination of fog and smoke reduced visibility to a few feet on some portions of the highway, prompting the closure.

Although a repeat event of superfog is not expected early tomorrow morning based on weather forecast models, motorists should remain alert in the fire area along US Highway 17 and on Hwy 50 west of Holly Ridge. Predicted rainfall events will further act to suppress the minimal amounts of ground fire observed.