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Fire in Grimesland cornfield spreads quickly in dry heat

By Staff
Volunteers work for almost three hours
By CHRISTINA HALE
Staff Writer
A cornfield in Grimesland caught fire Friday afternoon and volunteer firefighters in Pitt and Beaufort counties had to act quickly to keep the blaze from spreading.
“It was burning pretty good,” he said.
Volunteer firefighters with Chocowinity, Clark’s Neck, Black Jack and Simpson responded to the field near Carawan Road and West Bar Road to provide mutual aid for Grimesland.
The North Carolina Forestry Service was also called for assistance.
Firefighters stayed at the scene for almost three hours spraying water on the fire and smothering hot spots. Several smaller fires popped up in adjacent fields.
Strickland said the weather conditions were the biggest concern.
The N.C. Division of Forest Resources issued a statewide ban on all open burning and canceled all burning permits because of the dry weather and an increase in wildfires, according to its Web site.
Asked about the cause of the cornfield fire, Strickland said, “We’re not really sure about that.”
He guessed that farmer’s machinery ignited the corn. “He was in the midst of picking (corn) when it started,” Strickland said of the farmer, whose name was not released.
Strickland said incidents like this fire show the importance of the burning ban.
No damage was caused to the farmer’s machinery, but he did lose some corn.
“It’s cheaper than losing a combine,” Strickland said.