Days after smoke billowed from a major brush fire in Holly Springs, the town’s fire chief said the fire’s cause remains unknown.
“Speculation is accidental,” Holly Springs Fire Chief LeRoy Smith said. “There is nothing to lead us to believe it was intentional.”
Smith said Monday’s blaze, whose smoke could be seen from Raleigh, was one of the largest brush fires he had seen in years.
He said he will meet with an arson investigator from the N.C. Department of Forestry Monday, Nov. 7, to visit the site and work on determining the cause.
Nearly 50 firefighters from area departments were called Monday about 1:30 p.m. to 25 acres of vacant property near Friendship Road, just outside town limits and down the street from Holly Springs’ Fire Station 3. They remained on the scene for about four hours, Smith said.
Holly Springs firefighters have returned to the site several times since Monday to ensure that it does not flare up again.
“We’ve been actually back and forth out there the last few days,” Smith said Thursday. “It’s still smoldering.”
Other departments assisted in fighting the fire, including Morrisville, Cary, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Fairview and Swift Creek.
Other organizations also offered their help, Smith said. When the fire department was unsuccessful in getting a drone to give the departments an aerial view of the blaze, ABC11 provided photos from its helicopter, which was flying over the scene, and put Smith in touch with its pilot.
“He was giving us a play-by-play from up there,” Smith said. “It was very instrumental in helping us.”
Smith said a resident’s driveway was damaged. It collapsed when an engine and a tanker were sent to protect the home from the blaze, one of the few residences near the site. He said Holly Springs’ Public Works Department quickly came to repair it.
“They have a nicer driveway now than they did before,” he said. “This is one of those incidents where there’s a lot of inter-agency cooperation.”
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608, @KTrogdon