Bateman Island Fire Likely Started By People, Will Be Closed Indefinitely
The last time Bateman Island burned, the area was largely closed to the public for nearly two more years. That was in 2001. Now, even beyond firefighting efforts, it’s likely the same will happen.
Fire officials now say because there were not any lightning strikes or other weather conditions present, it’s likely the roughly 106 acre fire was started by people.
Back in 2001, some 90 of the island’s 160 acres went up in smoke, and it was closed for nearly two years while the ecosystem and animal habitats were restored. It’s a natural preserve used by hikers and bird watchers. The area is home to many small animal and bird species.
So far, two thirds of the island has burned, which is about 106 acres. Due to the dense growth and heavy underbrush, it is still smoldering and according to the Tri-City Herald, will likely do so for days.
The Herald says drones are being used to look for areas that need containment, and to scout for areas where it’s safe for firefighters to assemble forces to attack any remaining hot spots.