Containment of Tyrrell wildfire increases, cause determined to be debris burn

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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The Last Resort Fire on private and federal lands in Tyrrell County was 45% contained as of 4 p.m. on March 27. Firefighting crews have continued to hold the fire to 5,200 acres in size, according to the North Carolina Forest Service.

The fire area received significant rainfall Sunday evening and into Monday morning, with some areas of the fire receiving up to one inch.

Significant smoke is possible and may result in tedious travel conditions. In the interest of safety, residents and commuters should allow for extra travel time or plan to take alternate routes.

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Commuters should remain alert and attentive to signage; road closures may be implemented as needed.

According to the National Weather Service, drivers should keep the following safety tips in mind if travel is necessary in foggy conditions:

  • Slow down. Allow extra time to reach your destination.
  • Make your vehicle visible to others in front of you and behind you. Use your low-beam headlights. Use fog lights if you have them.
  • Never use your high-beam lights. High-beam lights cause glares, making it more difficult to see what’s ahead of you on the road.
  • Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or change in traffic patterns.
  • To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
  • In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop.
  • If there is no parking lot or driveway to pull into, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road as far as possible. Once you come to a stop, turn off all lights except your hazard flashing lights, set the emergency break and take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the taillights are not illuminated so that other drivers don’t mistakenly run into you.

Operational resources working the fire include 82 personnel. There are no injuries and no structures threatened as of the latest report.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a debris burn that escaped containment.

“The public is reminded to keep drones away from wildfires,” stated a North Carolina Forest Service press release. “While drones provide unique opportunities for aerial video and imagery of wildfire activity, they are unauthorized. Flying a drone near or around a wildfire compromises the safety of pilots and interferes with firefighting efforts.”

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