Predicted winds spark fear of more fires

February 24, 2011 8:02:38 PM PST
High winds are fueling new fears about wildfires in the area after hundreds of fires sparked across North Carolina in the past week.

Thursday night in Cumberland County, firefighters were very concerned about “hot spots” that could flare up again with winds that may reach 40-45 miles per hour on Friday.

If the area does not see much rain from showers expected ahead of the winds, some smoldering embers could once again turn into forest fires.

One fire on the minds of many is on a 1,100 acre piece of land in the Cedar Creek area of Cumberland County that was still burning Thursday night.

“We are going to be in a holding mode tomorrow, everybody will be monitoring the perimeter looking for hot spots,” said Hannah Thompson-Welch, of North Carolina Forest Services.

Nearly three dozen firefighters have battled the fire since Monday, when high wind gusts fanned the embers of a controlled burn into flames that raced through trees and fields.

No homes were burned, but several power line towers were damaged or destroyed.

Crews spent the day on Thursday dousing hot spots around the perimeter of the fire.

Forestry firefighters said it would take several days of steady rain for several hours to douse the blaze completely.

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