The Pulp Road Fire in Brunswick County reached 3,500 acres today and was still at zero percent containment. The 15,000-acre preserve where it’s burning crosses Brunswick and Columbus counties and is designated a National Natural Landmark. According to the N.C. Forest Service, the area was cleared of unburned fuels outside the fire perimeter, and crews had mopped up spot fires.
The N.C. Forest Service — one of several state forestry agencies in the U.S. that are named “Forest Service” — has mobilized its Red Incident Management Team to take over the fire. Resources earlier today included multiple engine and tractor plow strike teams plus aircraft. The PortCityDaily out of Wilmington reported that personnel will staff the fire through the weekend.
The state DEQ raised air pollution alerts to red in Brunswick County and orange in both New Hanover and Pender counties.
According to the Wilmington Star News, the fire initially was lit as a controlled burn in the Green Swamp Game Land and Green Swamp Nature Preserve, but yesterday the fire burned out of control and was classified as a wildfire. It nearly doubled in size since Thursday night. Smoke is thick in some areas and it is affecting visibility; officials have urged drivers to use caution.
State and local officials urged residents with respiratory issues to remain indoors.