250 acres burn in Globe fire

Crews still on site monitoring area for flareups
Nov. 29, 2012 @ 12:43 AM

Crews with the United States Forest Service will remain in the Globe area for the next few days tending to a wildfire that burned 250 acres of woodland in the Pisgah National Forest.
The fire was reported around 8 p.m. Friday in the area of Globe Mountain Road off N.C. 90 north of Collettsville, and firefighters from multiple agencies battled the blaze for 48 hours before it was contained late Sunday evening.
“We were able to get a line around it,” USFS Public Information Officer Keith Jenkins said. “We’re not calling controlled, but we’re fairly confident it will stay within our containment lines.”
Jenkins said most of the area inside the containment lines is black from the fire, but there are some pockets of unburned fuels that may flare up from time to time. When that happens, residents in the area may see smoke.
The area where the fire burned was in a location close to the site of a large wildfire that broke out 2007. Jenkins said crews were able to use some of the containment lines from that fire to assist in slowing the advance of this latest blaze. He also said that fire five years ago burned a lot of the fuels that could have made this one burn hotter and longer had they still been available.
A dozer was used to help put in containment lines, but a lot of the work was done by ground crews with hand tools due to the steep and rocky terrain of the area.
“That terrain was a concern for us,” Jenkins said. “But we have made quite a bit of progress.”
About 65 firefighters worked the fire Saturday, and the number was reduced to 50 on Saturday. By Monday, the number of personnel on hand had dwindled to 20, and Jenkins said more firefighters may be released as the week progresses.
“We’ll maintain a presence there and monitor the fire in case there are flareups,” he said. “We want to make sure we have someone there in case something happens. It’s a mop-up and control mode now. We hope to be out later this week.”
Jenkins said the cause of the fire has not been determined, indicating that it remains under investigation. He said low humidity aided the fire’s spread, but windy conditions were avoided for the most part because of the fire’s location, though it spread along both sides of the ridge line.
There is a chance of precipitation in the weather forecast that could help further suppress any fire still burning.
“It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps,” Jenkins said.
The North Carolina Forest Service dealt with a wildfire less than an acre in size on private land on the west side of the fire. Other than that, the NCFS crews and firefighters from Collettsville, Gamewell, Hudson, Patterson and Valmead assisted in supporting roles.
The fire led to the shutdown of Globe Mountain Road Saturday and Sunday. That was handled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and North Carolina Highway Patrol. The road was opened to traffic again Sunday around 5 p.m.