Traffic along parts of U.S. 64 was stopped temporarily Friday while crews battled five different brush fires, and officials said Saturday’s weather conditions will continue to fuel brush fires.
“The wind is drying all the vegetation out that is already dead from winter and the low humidity isn’t helping,” said Nash County Deputy Fire Marshal Chris Bissette. “(Saturday) will have favorable conditions for outside fires, too.”
Bissette said reports of brush fires started coming in around noon Friday, sending various fire departments to respond.
“None of them were tremendously bad, but the weather just proved to be perfect conditions for them to start,” he said.
Officials stopped traffic for about 30 minutes near mile marker 455 while firefighters battled the blaze.
“When we pull the fire trucks in the road and have firefighters working in the median, it is just safer to stop the traffic,” Bissette said. “We don’t want a driver to hit another car because they are looking at what we are doing or for them to hit a fire truck or worse, a firefighter.”
Smoke blowing across the road also limited visibility for drivers. Bissette said everyone should use caution when transporting metal that could send a spark or trashing cigarettes that could fuel a fire. Call 911 to report brush fires.
“If people absolutely have to burn something, we want to make sure they have something readily available to extinguish it and they should never leave a fire unattended,” Bissette said. “If a fire does start to get out of control, call firefighters immediately. If you get it out before we get there, that is great, but if you wait to call until it is out of control, then it could spread to a building and risk lives.”