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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