Officials optimistic that fire is slowing

Published 4:44 am Monday, June 16, 2008

By Staff
Firefighters’ progress is strong
Senior Reporter
Sunday may have been the turning point of the Evans Road fire.
The massive fire has consumed more than 41,000 acres in Hyde, Washington and Tyrrell counties.
Nearly 600 personnel are supporting the fight.
While it is officially 40 percent contained, officials seemed to be breathing a slight sigh of relief on Sunday.
The fire started near the Ponzer community in Hyde County two weeks ago from a lightning strike. It grew and moved quickly into southeastern Washington County and marched toward Lake Phelps.
The fire worked itself between Lake Phelps and New Lake during its northeast progression during its first 10 days of life.
Brady said fire officials hope the head of the fire will settle in the swampy, marshy area in southwest Tyrrell County where it was Sunday.
He said several inches of almost continuous rain is needed to completely put the fire out.
He said firefighters will continue to work on drowning the fire by flooding the ground with water from pumps from Lake Phelps, with possibly some from New Lake.
A cooperative effort of the N.C. Forest Service, volunteer fire departments from across the state, the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service and several other emergency agencies are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in this huge effort to quell the fire.
Hyde County Emergency Management Coordinator Tony Spencer reported late Sunday that fire containment officials have given him some hope.
Spencer said that all previous advisories in Hyde County are lifted based upon this information.
The state has assumed responsibility for provision of outside public safety resources, Spencer said.
Spencer said any extra emergency management service needs related to the fire will become the state’s responsibility at 7 a.m. today.