On Wednesday, January 15th at 5:35 PM, a Caterpillar excavator sustain major damage after catching fire while the operator was managing the controlled burning of two wood piles as part of a land clearing operation off of Highway 207 near Smyrna Church Rd. While running the excavator the operator noticed a glow behind the cab and realized that the excavator was on fire and was able to get off the machine without injury. High Point Fire District responded to the fire with two engines and ten firefighters. The first arriving fire engine advanced a hose and began attacking the fire while a second engine supplied additional water. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control and cool down the excavator using 1000 gallons of water. It could not determine if the fire was caused by flying embers from the wood piles or a mechanical failure.