HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – The Poplar Drive brush fire is now 75 percent contained and held to 434 acres. Now, the crews who have been working 24/7 tirelessly to beat the fire are taking a sigh of relief.
“The rain helped us over the weekend, we were able to get some out of state resources in, we’re really going after the hot spots out there, so with the combination of all that, we’ve upped the containment to 75 percent as of last night,” said Kevin Harvell, the incident commander for the North Carolina Forest Service.
One home, two cabins and three outbuildings were completely destroyed. While a few firefighters sustained small injuries, they recovered quickly and said they’re relieved no one was seriously hurt. Throughout the entire process, communities from near and far have had their back.
“We had 18 different agencies within the county, 48 agencies from across the state, as far away as Currituck, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Raleigh area, that came here, close to 400 people in all those agencies involved,” said Mike Morgan, Henderson County chief communications officer. “They’re not all fighting the fire, with some of them behind the scenes. But that doesn’t even include the forest service or the number of people who volunteered with the church.”
Despite most of the fire now being contained, the North Carolina Forest Service said it’s not time to celebrate yet.
“Because of the soils that are out there and the heavy layers of leaves, the fire is burning down, so it’s not increasing in size but it’s going down in some cases up to a foot,” said Harvell. “So we have a drone camera that’s locating all of that heat and our crews…engines and crews are going out and locating those heat sources and digging them up with tools and mixing it up with water, the dirty job.”
As some crews are assigned to those dirty jobs, others are checking in with the neighbors who have been impacted by the fire, making sure there’s nothing left that can reignite.
“The crews are going to each of those homes, each of those outbuildings, making sure the leaves haven’t blown up against them, that the firewood is not piled up right up against them, making sure nothing happens, we’re going house to house door to door to secure everything before we leave,” said Harvell.
There is still a burn ban for the counties in the area that will stay in effect until further notice.