The Whipping Creek Wildfire, once two separate fires continues to burn in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, just North of the Hyde County airport and Pamico Road. It is said to be on the Hyde County side of the Dare / Hyde County line, NW of U.S. Highway 264 in Englehard, North Carolina.
The fire started around 1400 hours on April 18th on private land South of the Dare Bombing Range and Alligator River National Forest.
The Incident is in an Unified Command System with North Carolina Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. They are listed as a NC Type 2 IMT.
The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Mateo Campus of College of the Albemarle formerly known as the Mateo Middle School.
64 personnel were initially assigned to this incident but over the last few days have increased to 143 Firefighters with 5 Fire Managers. Most of them are from the North Carolina Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
CURRENT FIRE STATUS
With better infrared fire mapping systems, the acreage has been decreased from 14,000 down to 13,733 acres. Even though 0.15″ inches of rain dropped over the fire ground from a recent passing storm, fire crews were still able to reach a 48% containment status.
Though the weather is a little more favorable, smoke and fire have become more invisible. Smoke has been appearing in the area, making driving more of a challenge.
Smoke has been hindering areas on Highway 264, causing Law Enforcement and the Department of Transportation having to shut down part of the roadway. Portions of roads closed on Highway 264, have now been reopened.
The cause of the fire was due to right-of-way road maintenance operation. The mowing or brush-hoggging of fine flashy fuels such as dead grass or leaves can be a source of ignition when stones or other metal debris is struck by the mowing blades. Here in Washington, sometimes these types of operations are not conducted when it is very scorching outside, solely for this purpose.
The fire is still holding at 14,000 acres with a 15% containment status.
Fire fuels are 6-feet of Chaparral.
The Department of Transportation and the State Police have reopened all roadways on Highway 264. Please call or go online to your local news or travel websites for up-to-date road conditions reports.
Fire Managers and fire crews will continue to monitor the ever-changing weather conditions and monitoring current fire conditions.
The current cost-to-date costs have run as high as $505,242.00 as of today’s date.
NOTE: Always remember to Move Over when there are lights and sirens [to the right] and move one lane over as safe as possible, if you see emergency vehicles, including Department of Transportation, Police, Fire, Tow trucks etc. on the shoulder of the highway.
You may see Emergency Fire vehicles and equipment working in the area. Please yield to them, as safely as you can.
SUPPORTING THEIR MISSION
If you happen to see a Firefighter, Police Officer or Department of Transportation or any other Public Safety Member on the roadway, please thank them for their service and dedication. They will surely appreciate your gratitude!
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