Croatan Fire Now 98% Contained; Catfish Lake Road Reopens

The U.S. Forest Service says the Croatan National Forest Fire is now 98% contained.

The fire remains at 21,331 acres and foresters say recent rains and ongoing water pumping operations have helped to further contain the fire. They expect full containment by Saturday.

Also this morning, Catfish Lake Road, which has been closed for a week and a half because of the fire, reopened to traffic.

The fire began after a prescribed burn got out of control.

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The Croatan National Forest fire is now 90-percent contained as crews continue working on knocking down ground fires.

Last week firefighters were controlling the wildfire with fire, this week they are using water and so far they have moved more then 22-million-gallons to flood creeks along containment lines.

Pumps stationed along Black Swamp Road work to move water in along creeks to soak the ground. Officials tell us their biggest concern is peat fires that can go deep into the ground and pop up at anytime. The flooding helps put out those peat fires.

Donald Simon, public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service says the rain has also helped with their efforts. "The reason we don't have that much smoke right now is partially because we've really knocked back the ground fire with the flooding, we've taken away the fuels so there's less to burn and we've also had rain the last few days."

Officials tell us because the work on the fire is progressing well they plan to reopen Catfish Lake Road Wednesday morning.

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