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Archive for April, 2009

Silver Alert canceled; Hampstead man located

Monday, April 27th, 2009

The N.C. Center for Missing Persons at 10:11 p.m. Monday canceled a Silver alert for a missing endangered man, Joseph Jay Spar, 83, of Hampstead.Residents had been asked to be on the lookout for Spar, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment, according to a release from the center.

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17-year-old seriously injured in Brunswick crash

Monday, April 27th, 2009

A 17-year-old woman was seriously injured Monday afternoon when a tractor-trailer crashed into her Jeep on Maco Road near Leland, officials said.The wreck closed Maco and Goodman roads for several hours, beginning around 4:40 p.m. when the wreck was reported.

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Flames tougher to extinguish due to budgeting concerns

Monday, April 27th, 2009

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Officials are still fighting a fire that burned more than 20,000 acres in South Carolina, but budget cuts are making the process a bit more difficult.

South Carolina forestry officials said the tough economy has made fighting the Highway 31 fire even more difficult.

The South Carolina Forestry Commission has since put a burn ban in place. Because budget cuts meant staff cuts, dealing with another fire would be extremely difficult.

In North Carolina, budget cuts have lead to a 10 percent reduction in staffing for the North Carolina Forestry Service.

But even at full staff, a burn ban would have been issued.

“Anytime you have that much equipment committed in one area a burning ban is something that we typically do,” said Shane Hardee of the NC Forestry Service.

Across the nation, forestry officials burn areas of the forest to help control major fires.

South Carolina officials said these control burn areas were easiest to extinguish during the wildfires.

That’s one area where North Carolina hasn’t cut back. Hardee explained, “The budget has not impacted our ability to do control burns. In fact, we were told to continue as normal even throughout the budgetary restrictions because of the benefit it does have in fighting fires.”

If we were to experience a fire as large as the one in Myrtle Beach, we could see a lot of the same help South Carolina has received. “If we get a large fire, all we have to do is activate the compact and other states will send resources as we request them,” said Hardee.

A week ago, North Carolina forestry officials faced a fire that had a similar intensity to the one that raged in Myrtle Beach last week, and they’re still monitoring burning areas. That makes it easy to understand why Myrtle Beach officials believe it could be months before the fire is under control.

The bottom line, if a similar fire hit North Carolina, Hardee said, “We’re as prepared as we can be.”

Hardee said the North Carolina Forestry Service has cut its equipment budget. It still has several helicopters at its disposal, but its airplane has mechanical problems, and did not make the list for repair. Hardee said the airplane had been key in quickly putting out several fires in our area.

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videoOfficials are still fighting a fire that burned more than 20,000 acres in South Carolina, but budget cuts are making the process a bit more difficult.

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Associated poll

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Burn ban in Bruswick County, safety tips to prevent wildfires

Monday, April 27th, 2009

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South Carolina officials said a back yard trash fire may have contributed to the Highway 31 fire. Because of the fire, a burn ban is in effect for Brunswick County. County Fire Marshal Scott Garner said when that ban is lifted, it is important to keep safety in mind when you are doing back yard burns.

In North Carolina it is illegal to burn any man-made materials, like household garbage. In certain counties a permit is required for burning within 100 feet of your home. In all counties burning at any greater distance requires a forestry permit.

“Problem is fuels that may be around where you’re burning. So if you haven’t really cleaned the area to where it’s down to dirt if there’s grass or leaves or other things that are around it, it could cause the fire to spread,” Garner said.

Garner also said it is important to have a hose nearby to help put out the fire if it gets out of control. You should also wear long clothing like pants and a sweat shirt to protect your skin.

If any fire starts to spread, contact your fire department or 911 immediately.

You can use the following file to help prevent wildfires and protect your family, home and property.

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South Carolina officials said a back yard trash fire may have contributed to the Highway 31 fire. Because of the fire, a burn ban is in effect for Brunswick County.

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Associated poll

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Woman seriously injured in crash; Maco and Goodman roads reopened

Monday, April 27th, 2009

A woman was flown by helicopter to New Hanover Regional Medical Center after being seriously injured Monday afternoon in a collision between a Jeep and a tractor-trailer, a state Highway Patrol trooper said.Maco and Goodman roads near Leland were closed for several hours after the crash was reported at 4 p.m.

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