Great Lakes Fire remains 36,000 acres in size and 30% contained

Great Lakes Fire remains 36,000 acres in size and 30% contained
Published: Apr. 23, 2023 at 12:48 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2023 at 8:46 PM EDT
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Foresters are providing the latest update on the giant blaze in Craven County.

Officials say the Great Lakes Fire remains 36,000 acres and 30% contained as of 6 P.M. Sunday night, with the Southern Area Red Team taking command.

The U.S. Forest Service says Saturday night’s thunderstorms resulted in beneficial rain with the fire’s northern perimeter five miles southwest of Coastal Carolina Regional Airport.

Twenty tractor plow units are constructing 25 miles of firebreaks around the fire’s edge in an effort to prevent it from spreading to private land. according to the latest update.

The Forest Service says people driving on highways adjacent to the fire, especially U.S. 17 and U.S. 70, should use caution. Saturday night the DOT said Catfish Lake Road and County Line Road were closed to all traffic because of the fire.

Craven and Carteret counties are under Code Red air pollution alerts because of the smoke, while Onlsow County is under of Code Orange alert for Sunday. The Forest Service says smoke is particularly worse in the mornings and evenings.

The Southern Area Red Team, a Type 1 Incident Management Team, is due to arrive Sunday. The fire will enter unified command between the U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service.

Foresters say there have been no injuries and no homes or buildings are threatened at this time. The cause of the Great Lakes Fire remains under investigation.