10/18/07 — Brush fire takes out three acres on city street

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Brush fire takes out three acres on city street

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on October 18, 2007 2:03 PM

Two days after Gov. Mike Easley issued a statewide ban on open burning, a fire on South 11th Street took out three wooded acres, authorities say.

Louis Pope of Philadelphia, Pa., was given a warning ticket for a brush fire he started that wound up destroying three acres, Assistant Wayne County Ranger Brandon Hill said.

Pope owns property on South 11th Street and visits a few times a year to clean it up, authorities said.

Management Ranger Scott Ludlum of the N.C. Division of Forest Resources' Rocky Mount Office said the Division of Forest Resources was called by Goldsboro fire officials around 12:20 p.m.

Forest Resources used a plow line to stop the fire, which involves using a bulldozer with disc blades that digs a 6-foot-wide ditch, Ludlum said.

The ditch "gets down to the bare mineral soil, and fire won't burn across it," Ludlum said.

A "back fire" is also set so that when flames from the original fire meet the back fire, the two extinguish one another, Ludlum said.

The management ranger said the fire was extinguished by 2:06 p.m., after destroying three acres of woodland.

Three nearby homes worth a total of $200,000 were threatened by the fire, but were unharmed in the incident, Ludlum said.

Goldsboro Assistant Fire Chief Gary Whaley said his department was first on the scene and called the forestry service for assistance.

Whaley said local charges were not filed against Pope, who had a burn permit that is no longer valid under the governor's statewide ban.

"He had a burn permit, but he was unaware of the burning ban at the time," Whaley said.