Monday, 17 May 2021 15:42

Wildfires burn 40 acres north of Hamlet

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Two wildfires burned 40 acres of logged-out land off County Home Road on Saturday. Two wildfires burned 40 acres of logged-out land off County Home Road on Saturday. Leah Melvin - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — Two wildfires burned about 40 acres on County Home Road over the weekend.

Jack Franklin, county ranger for the N.C. Forest Service, said rangers were called about the fires around 2 p.m. Saturday.

Both fires were on the north side of the road, between the Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy and Plastek, north of Hamlet.

Franklin said the area had been logged out and rangers plowed both fires together and had them under control in about two hours.

Smoke could be seen billowing above the treetops behind Rockingham Speedway’s Thunder Alley.

The Hamlet Fire Department also responded.

Franklin said the causes of the fires are still unknown and under investigation, though he did point out that there were a lot of ATV tracks in the area.

Richmond County ranks as one of the most prone of the state’s 100 counties for wildfires, Franklin previously told the RO, especially in long periods without rain.

There have been several fires within the past several weeks.

A man burning woods debris said embers jumped his containment line on April 22, resulting in a 3-acre fire on Mount Moriah Church Road south of Hamlet.

Earlier this month, rangers battled a 60-acre wildfire on Loch Haven Road before it was doused by evening rains.

There have been 249 fires across North Carolina on private or state-owned land so far this month, which have burned more than 2,600 acres, according to the N.C. Forest Service. Seventy-two of those fires were on May 1.

Statistics do not include fires on federal land.

The Tar Heel State has had 2,278 fires in 2021 to burn 7,546.2 acres. More than 185 acres burned on Sunday from 18 fires.

Several sources show that North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation for wildfires.