LATE UPDATE: A forest fire that began from a brush pile being burned near a home at 330 Browntown Road in the Wilbar area was brought under control Monday afternoon after it burned about 25 acres, said Wilkes County Forester Nathan Gatlin of the N.C. Forest Service. Gatlin said the fire caused little damage as it burned through mature hardwoods. He said the fire would have rapidly worsened if it had reached a nearby area of Virginia pines and Chinese silvergrass, where timber had been harvested recently. Gatlin issued a warning ticket to a man for not keeping the brush pile fire under control.The Mulberry-Fairplains, Wilbar and McGrady fire departments and forest service Fire Attack Support Team (FAST) members fought the fire. Also involved were a Hickory-based forest service spotter plane and a Wilkes County-based forest service bulldozer. Jeff Bumgarner is the dozer operator and Lewis Johnson is the dozer crew member. Forest service personnel were on the scene Tuesday extinguishing "hot spots."
At about 1:40 p.m. Monday, personnel from the Wilbar Fire Department and the N.C. Forest Service were responding to a woods fire in rugged mountainous terrain near Browntown Road, which is off Mertie Road between N.C. 18 North and Vannoy Road in northern Wilkes County.
The McGrady and Mulberry-Fairplains fire departments also were dispatched to the blaze, which was estimated at between five and seven acres by 2 p.m. Monday.