August 07, 2020

Brush fire claims 37 acres

FIGHTING FIRE OFF-ROAD — Above, Hiddenite Fire Dept. Engine 357 is on the scene of a brush fire on Paynes Dairy Road on July 14. The fire began as a controlled burn of logging debris that jumped out of containment the previous night and grew to 37 acres before being contained. (HVFD photo.)

Multiple crews battled a brush fire last week south of Taylorsville.

The fire began as a controlled burn of logging debris on property along Paynes Dairy Road, said David Huffman, Alexander County Ranger for the N.C. Forest Service.

Huffman said the fire jumped out of containment Monday evening, July 13, and was slow to spread at first. However, daytime heating the following day intensified the fire and caused it to grow to 37 acres.

Stony Point, Hiddenite, and Wittenburg firefighters responded to the scene, as did North Carolina Forest Service personnel from Alexander and Iredell counties. A bulldozer unit from NCFS in Caldwell County assisted to install a containment line around the fire, Huffman noted.

High temperatures in the low to mid 90s hindered firefighters on July 14.

Alexander County Emergeny Medical Services paramedics were on scene for standby, as were the Stony Point Fire Dept. Ladies’ Auxiliary members, to provide rehab and to check firefighters for safety and health.

Huffman said the fire was monitored since last Tuesday by firefighters.

“The North Carolina Forest Service appreciates the help from all agencies involved,” said the ranger.

Huffman said the fire is being investigated to ascertain whether proper precautions were taken to prevent its spread.

He noted that despite many areas having received heavy rain from thunderstorms recently, some areas still remain dry and dangerous for fire spreading.

“It’s amazing how dry that area of the county is. I went down there today [July 21] and it’s still dusty dry,” Huffman stated.

“Folks still need to be careful burning yard debris because of this high temperature [weather] and lack of rainfall,” the ranger concluded.

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