Glen Watkins of the local Forest Service office said crews using heavy equipment managed to construct a containment line that should prevent the fire from spreading beyond its 55 acre area.
"The fire's not out," he said, "but it shouldn't be going anywhere."
Although between 75 and 100 homes were threatened by the blaze, Watkins said, no structures were damaged.
The fire was primarily in a densely wooded bay between the lake and state-owned woodland.
The fire is especially troublesome due to the nature of the soil in the area, Watkins said. The soil is mainly organic peat, and is combustible for several feet underground.
Trees downed by hurricanes have also combined with the extended drought to make conditions ideal for forest fires, especially in wooded bays like Bay Tree, Watkins said.
"What we really need is at least three inches of steady rain," he said. "that would help quite a bit, and it'll take at least that much to soak that fire."
The soft, moist nature of the peat prevented conventional firefighting tractors and plows from attacking the fire directly. Brush trucks and other pumpers couldn't easily get close to the fire, Watkins said. When the fire was first ignited by a lightning strike July 10, high winds prevented aerial tankers from flying in the area.
Firefighters said the wind shifted through all four directions at least twice on the first day of the fire.
Special tractors with wide treads were brought in July 12 to cut the containment line. The soft-tracks came from the northeastern part of the state and worked on the fire throughout the weekend.
As many as eight tractors were at work on the fire at the busiest time, with around 25 forest service workers and numerous volunteers from four area fire departments.
Watkins said some irrigation pipes have been set up to continuously pump water on the blaze, but for the most part the peat fire would "just have to burn out."
The fire has caused smoke to spread out as far as White Lake and into neighboring Sampson County, prompting warnings for drivers along N.C. 41.
"People just need to be cautious if they're driving near Bay Tree Lake," Watkins said. "If you have a breathing problem, you don't want to be out in the smoke for very long."
Dromedeer planes, helicopters and a CL-125 firefighting tanker are now on call should the fire escape its containment area, Watkins said.
Forest Service officials will be monitoring the fire until it is extinguished, Watkins said.