Wind shifts burn away from homeowner’s control

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROBERDEL — It can happen in an instant. At least that’s what the Terry Bridge Road homeowner said Wednesday afternoon while watching volunteers from Northside Volunteer Fire Department and North Carolina Forest Service personnel extinguish a controlled burn that wasn’t.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com A Northside Volunteer Fire Department firefighter pulls a fire hose from a truck to reach the flames of a controlled burn that got away.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
A Northside Volunteer Fire Department firefighter pulls a fire hose from a truck to reach the flames of a controlled burn that got away.

The homeowner said he’s been burning “for 20-some years” and never before has he had a problem. That changed at approximately 1:28 p.m., when he called 911 for help.

The man said when he dialed 911, the fire line was trending towards a row of pine trees. By the time firefighters arrived, however, the wind had reversed direction and the flames had followed the Centipede grass towards the home, situated on the 8.4-acre property. Quickly arriving firefighters directed their efforts there first in order to prevent any property damage.

The man, with two heart attacks in his past, swallowed a nitroglycerine pill as he and his trusty dachshund-terrier mix watched the flurry of activity. After sitting a spell on a stump, the man got up to help the firefighters.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

“The wind wasn’t even blowing when I started,” he explained as he pointed out his pitchfork and long-range garden hose readied to handle the burn.

The homeowner estimated the fire burned roughly 1 acre.

County Ranger Matt Gordon issued the man a warning. He explained to the man that North Carolina law requires one to properly manage a controlled burn. With the warning on his record, if the Forest Service is called out again to the address anytime within the next three years, Gordon will be required to issue a citation.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 2:01 p.m.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

 

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