Hyde County brush fire smoke drifting west toward Greenville

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 10:18 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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HYDE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -The smoke from a brush fire in Hyde County is drifting toward west and northwest counties of Eastern Carolina.

As of Tuesday, officials said the fire, which is on Ferebee Road, was scaled down to 615 acres from 800, due to more accurate mapping. However, officials say the flames are still just 25% contained.

According to officials, crews are primarily focused on getting water to the remote location.

Smoke from the fire, which started Sunday, is now on the move, drifting into Washington, Beaufort, Martin, and Washington counties.

Smoke from the fire in Hyde County is drifting west.
Smoke from the fire in Hyde County is drifting west.(WITN)

Radar scans show light smoke around the mouth of the Pungo Pamlico river.

The closest air quality index to the Ferebee Road fire that WITN has access to is in Washington. According to that index, Tuesday’s air quality in Washington and Swanquarter is moderate.

A moderate air quality means the quality is acceptable, however, for some pollutants, there may be a moderate health concern for some people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution. These are model-driven readings that can be prone to error.

The site of this current blaze is not far from the site of the Evans Road fire that burned more than 41,500 acres in 2008 and took three months to extinguish.

At times throughout the Evans Road fire, smoke traveled to Greenville and Washington, even setting off smoke alarms inside homes and businesses.

WITN was in Williamston Tuesday and the effects of the Ferebee Road fire were evident.

Lina Jones says she usually walks through downtown Williamston to the playground with her newborn and toddler, “but we’re not going to stay out any longer than necessary.”

The smell is overwhelming many towns and cities in the East. But still, some agency officials are optimistic about putting out the fire.

“As long as they can get the water pumped in there to flood this thing out, I think we got a good handle on it,” Cabe Speary with the North Carolina Forest Service said.

However, until the fire is fully destroyed, Speary says the air quality will continue to be affected.

“It’s probably unhealthy for sensitive groups. People with asthma, COPD, or other diseases,” Speary said. “I just recommend those folks just, as much as possible, stay inside, keep your air conditioning running, make sure your filters are fresh, clean, so if any of it does get in, keep the windows closed.”

Speary added that it’s going to be a few days before the fire is completely under control, and that anyone who has problems breathing should consider wearing face masks, but limiting time outdoors is the safest option.

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