The Neuse River bridge was barely visible as smoke from the Croatan fire took over New Bern Tuesday evening.
New Bern resident David Garfield took extra precautions by wearing a medical mask to filter out the smoke. Garfield says he didn't notice the smoke as much Monday, but that New Bern got hit hard Tuesday. "It burned my lungs. I was coming out to smoke a cigarette, I smoke. And I'm like, forget the cigarette, I can't even stay out here."
In downtown New Bern the air feels hotter, thicker, and it's harder to breathe. Donald Simon, Forest Service spokesman says what firefighters are experiencing is a lot worse. "We do work rest cycles, they do not go out there constantly all the time. We try to keep them out of the smoke."
And while the smoke is an inconvenience, Simon says the positive side of the situation is that everyone is safe.
Fortunately right now this fire is threatening no buildings, no people, and no firefighters.