HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. – Since Friday firefighters have been working to contain what is now known as the Poplar Drive fire, and today those efforts continued on Tuesday.
Tuesday was a dry and warm day in Henderson County as 431 acres continue to burn.
“Of course, warm, windy, dry always increases fire behavior so where we have unburned islands or areas where the leaf fall has accumulated on top of hot spots were seeing a little bit of increased activity,” said Kevin Harvell, incident commander for the state’s Forest Service.
Firefighters have been working around the clock.
“My folks are out there accessing the containment lines,” Harvell said. “Getting a little bit of ‘mop-up’ done which is where we go in and put water and foam and dig with hand tools to put out the hot spots that are close to the containment lines.”
While the fight against the fire wages on, fire crews are making progress.
“That’s why you haven’t seen the acre increase because we have it down to blow dozer lines, we have some hand lines in there as well and the road network up there so between all of those things we have it hemmed up,” Harvell said. “But we don’t call it contained until we feel comfortable that the structure patrol and the wildland firefighters can walk away and there is little or no chance of that fire getting out and forcing us to come back and do something.”
Breece Pittillo, a landowner who lives close to the fire said residents in the area are grateful for the long days and long nights first responders are putting into fighting the Poplar Fire.
“The community is as great as it’s always been there always fully supportive of all the fire fighters and everyone who is involved with this all the families affected directly and indirectly by this are being supported by the community and that’s what the community is all about and has always been,” he said.
The North Carolina Forest Service says this fire could be weeks away from being 100% contained however a lot of that is weather dependent.
The Forest Service adds that folks can expect to see an increase in containment over the next few days.
The official cause of the fire is still under investigation.