Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
A brush fire started in the dunes near Public Beach Access No. 39 around 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, and was likely the result of a burning cigarette butt.
While the cause has not been officially determined, most investigations have led to improperly discarded smoking material.
Wrightsville Beach Fire Captain Adam Brown, who was the officer on duty Thursday, Feb. 20, said a fire in the sea oats occurs at least once per year.
“Most of the time, it’s always firework-related incidents,” Brown said.
The area damaged by the fire was about 70-by-30 feet, he said.
When about 12 to 15 WBFD officers responded to the fire, several bystanders were already throwing sand on the fire to put it out. Firefighters were then able use three water extinguishers to put out the fire in about three to four minutes.
To prevent similar fires, Brown suggested properly disposing of smoking materials in an ash tray.
“The trash receptacles on the beach are not proper places to throw your cigarettes either,” Brown said.