Fire containment increases to 78 percent
Published 8:19 pm Thursday, April 28, 2016
HYDE COUNTY — The Whipping Creek Fire remains at more than 15,400 acres, but its containment has increased substantially.
As of Thursday, the fire was at 78-percent containment.
“Since the fire complexity and activity level have decreased, the need for resources, including both people and equipment, has also declined,” a press release stated.
Officials have transferred the operation to local units, led by Unified Incident Commanders Kevin Harvell, of N.C. Forest Service, and Ed Christopher, of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Using infrared camera technology, fire crews have been able to identify hot spots within the fire perimeter, and thus, handle them directly from the ground and air, the release stated. Thursday’s thunderstorms and humidity also contributed to the decreased fire activity.
As of Thursday, about half of the Whipping Creek Fire is burning on USFWS land, a total of 7,692 acres. Five percent is burning on the United States Navy’s Dare Bombing Range, and the other 6,940 acres is on state-maintained or private under Forest Service jurisdiction, according to incident reports.
Despite the progress as of late, fire crews remain on guard for any perimeter growth or changes.
“Firefighters will take no chances and will continue to monitor and mop-up until infrared flights indicate there is no heat at all,” the release stated. “While the Whipping Creek Road Fire is being managed and monitored, this group of firefighters will also maintain vigilance for any potential of new fire starts.”
The Whipping Creek Fire has been active since April 18, and crews hope to have it completely contained by the first week of May. Any health risks due to air quality are minimal, and nearby communities are under no threat.