Brush fire burns in southern Durham County

Smoke from a brush fire blankets southern Durham County Tuesday afternoon as fire crews try to contain the fire.

September 21, 2010 8:15:19 PM PDT
Smoke from a brush fire blanketed parts of southern Durham County Tuesday.About 20 to 25 acres were scorched by 30 foot flames that occasionally were lapping at the tree line at Scott King and Herndon roads.

Homes in the area were surrounded by the thick smoke, but officials say they cut a line in front of the neighborhood and it would not be effected by the blaze. They say the road served as a good fire break.

Just before 4:30 p.m., authorities said the fire was 100 percent contained about a mile south of I-40 along Fayetteville Road and Highway 55.

An abandoned structure was destroyed, but there was no damage to homes.

Another brush fire sparked up around 7 p.m. just off N.C. 147. Officials say it could have been caused by a cigarette carelessly flicked from a passing car.

But less than a quarter mile down the road, a Duke Energy substation was also threatened by the flames.

Fire fighters say they are very concerned about the conditions that fueled Tuesday's fires.

"Very dry, drought conditions, wind, creating difficulty fueling the fire," said Mark Holland with the Parkwood Fire Department.

Crews had to spend Tuesday evening standing ready to defend the neighborhood and the substation if fickle winds pushed the flames closer.

Images from Chopper 11 HD showed the fire burning across the road from homes in the Fairfield Neighborhood.

Resident Carson Oakley says he was helping his mother with groceries when he saw the smoke.

"We didn't know what happened, heard the sirens, saw the smoke, wanted to see what happened," he said.

Homeowner Trang Lance, who lives across from where the fire was, got a call from a neighbor about the blaze.

"A neighbor called me to tell me there was a fire near the house, so I wanted to rush home to make sure my house and my dog was okay," she said.

Officials say it's been so dry for so long that the flames were burning through the root system and it could be days before the fire burns itself out.

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