Camp Lejeune says Highway 172 between the Triangle Outpost Gate and the Sneads Ferry Gate on base is now open again. Heavy smoke closed the highway earlier this morning.
The fire is the eastern boundary of the base. Calm winds out of the southwest this morning are pushing the smoke northeast. The northwest side of Swansboro is getting some of the worst of the smoke.
WITN Meteorologist Matt Engelbrecht says winds will pick up this afternoon, which will help disperse the smoke.
Highway 172 was closed down overnight because visibility was so poor in the darkness.
Camp Lejeune says a wildfire ignited Thursday morning and charred about hundreds of acres in a matter of hours. The base late this morning revised the acreage down to 1,200.
The fire is considered contained.
Public Affairs officials say no official cause has been determined, however the location of the fire could lend some clues. They said it was reasonable to infer that a training round or artillery flare could have sparked the fire. The fire did not start as the result of a controlled burn.
Other than the smoke, officials say the fire has mostly been a good thing ecologically. At this time, the only thing the flames have taken out is underbrush, which officials say needed to happen anyway. Fire crews had conducted controlled burns in this area in the past, which helped them quickly contain the fire Thursday.
Camp Lejeune officials say the wildfire on base has grown to 1,500 acres but crews have stopped its eastward advance.
Crews from base forestry and the base fire department have successfully completed burnout operations to stop the eastward advance of the fire that originated in the "GC" maneuver area Thursday morning, and began moving toward NC-172 near the triangle outpost gate entrance.
Base forestry officials report that the fire has been contained on the critical north, south and east sectors, effectively stopping the fire from advancing any farther toward the road. They also say the controlled burns that have been routinely conducted in these areas significantly reduced the fire's fuel load.
Though the fire has been effectively contained on three sides, it continues to burn. The base fire department will be monitoring it throughout Thursday evening and say that travelers in the area will continue to experience dense smoke and reduced visibility throughout the night and into the morning and are advised to exercise caution when driving in this area.
A wildfire on Camp Lejeune may impact driving in the Hubert area.
Base officials say they are working to contain a several hundred acre fire that started in the "GC" maneuver area and is moving east toward Highway 172 near the Triangle Outpost gate.
The base says people traveling on Lyman Road, Highway 172 and Bear Creek Road may see increased smoke and reduced visibility through the evening.
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