More than 160 Caldwell County firefighters spent much of the weekend battling a forest fire that swept through 100 acres around Patterson in what a ranger labeled the county’s worst forest fire in more than two years. The fire began around 2:15 p.m. Saturday when a debris fire burned out of control in the Austin Creek development off Roby Martin Road, said N.C. Division of Forest Services’ Caldwell County Ranger Rusty Dellinger.The fire spread up a steep slope and grew as wind fanned the flames, he said. Flames reached up to 50 feet tall in parts and threatened six homes.
None of the homes was damaged, though, and no one was injured, he said.
The last crews cleared the site of the blaze about 5:15 p.m. Sunday. The person who started the debris fire was issued a misdemeanor citation of not maintaining a careful watch of a controlled burn, Dellinger said. — KYTJA WEIR