UPDATE: Forest Fire In Carteret County

Officials say 2,600 acres have burned in the Croatan National Forest in Carteret County. However, crews intentionally did a back fire that burned an additional 2,000 acres to prevent the fire from spreading even more.

Authorities tell us they say the fire is 60% contained and do not anticipate closing 9 Mile Road again but will if smoke continues to get out of hand.

Crews are also hoping for a Monday afternoon shower to assist efforts.

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As of noon Sunday, the US Forestry Service is continuing their operations south of Millis Road and west of Nine Mile Road in Carteret County.

The fire is reported to be 25% contained and has burned approximately 800 acres. There are currently 25 to 30 fire fighters present, representing US Forestry, NC Forestry, Cherry Point Forestry, Broad & Gales Creek Fire Department, and Newport Fire Department.

Due to the fire operations, heavy smoke will occur around Nine Mile Road and Roberts Road. Expect large columns of smoke around this area.

Nine Mile Road to Roberts Road is closed to traffic through 6 pm Sunday evening.

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Fire crews continue to battle a massive blaze in Carteret County that is not yet under control. A planned burnout to help control the fire forced the closure of at least one road closure.

As of Friday afternoon, the North Carolina Forest Service estimated more than 500 acres have been burned in the Croatan National Forest.

The forest service says the fire started by a lightning strike Thursday afternoon around 3:00 p.m..

Fire crews purposely burned out hundreds of acres on Friday. With that burnout they expect the amount of forest land burned to jump to 2,000 acres. Officials say that burnout ahead of the fire should help to control it.

Due to heavy smoke, officials closed 9 Mile Road from Highway 24 Friday afternoon.

The area received about 3/4 of an inch of rain Friday. And while that helped put out the original fire, the forest service says it also forced them to cut short their burnout plans.

Twenty-five firefighters from federal, state and local fire departments are battling the blaze.

State firefighters are working with crews from U.S. National Forest Service to help contain the fire.

Rodney Bell with North Carolina Forest Service says wet weather in late July normally doesn't bring many wildfires, but says in recent years Eastern Carolina has been primarily dry.

Bell says they will continue to monitor hot spots through the weekend once the fire is contained.

Firefighters are trying to contain a fire in the Croatan National Forest.

WITN News has been told the fire is about 85 acres in size and is near the intersection of 9 Mile Road and Roberts Road, that's outside of Newport.

The fire is deep in the forest, so it appears no homes are being threatened. Carteret County Emergency Management says it started out as a controlled burn that turned on firefighters.

A large plume of smoke could be seen from Jacksonville. To view pictures of the fire, click on the SLIDESHOW link at the top of this story.

WITN has a crew at the fire and will have more details as they become available.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 24, 2009 at 02:40 PM
    We drove through Atlantic Beach around 2:30 - the smoke was very thick there, but the rain helped a lot.
  • by joe Location: hyde on Jul 24, 2009 at 02:07 PM
    i hope they get this one put out quicker than the one they had in hyde co.
  • by OutsideLookingIn Location: Vanceboro on Jul 24, 2009 at 12:14 PM
    To NCFS Location: Firetower: Don't be so quick to make a derogatory comment, unless you are there?? This fire is on Croatan's acreage, which is the area covered by the US Forest Service. Mr. Bell works for the STATE Forestry, NCFS. My husband is also a retired NCFS employee, but'informed'. Rodney Bell is covering this fire with his teams, even though it is officially US F.S. area. He has given his time and resources to help fight the fire. What Mr. Bell was saying is that lightening, due to a storm, is the cause of the fire. Normally, wet weather in July does not cause a fire, unless lightening is present. You should go to the fire and try to help out; it is no picknic for them to go into the Beach Traffic, and fight the fire. If you are a part of the NCFS, you should not be second-guessing those who are there. Signed, A Wife of a Dedicated F.S. Employee
  • by NCFS Location: Firetower on Jul 24, 2009 at 02:25 AM
    WITN: So Rodney Bell said that wet weather in late July doesn't normally bring many wildfires, huh? I'd say WET WEATHER doesn't normally bring ANY wildfires, much less many! LOL You need to re-word that sentence.
  • by Guinea Pig mom Location: ENC on Jul 23, 2009 at 09:29 PM
    I was traveling on Hwy 70 West coming back home. It looked pretty bad when I was coming through earlier this evening. It could be seen from a good distance away!

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