State News

Crews continue to battle N.C. wildfire

Fire crews plan to continue building containment lines around a massive wildfire that is burning in a sparsely inhabited rural area of eastern North Carolina.

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Wildlife refugee fire smoke
COLUMBIA, N.C. — Fire crews on Monday continued building containment lines around a massive wildfire burning in a sparsely inhabited rural area of eastern North Carolina.

North Carolina Division of Forestry spokesman Bill Swartley said plans for firefighters also include pumping water onto smoldering peat fires burning in the ground.

The fire has grown to 32,556 acres – more than 50 square miles – since it was sparked by lightning a week ago. The fire was 40 percent contained Sunday night. No one has been injured.

Crews from Orange County were dispatched to aid in the firefighting effort. Officials want the crews to spend four to five days helping build containment lines.

Officials said the firefighting has cost just over $1 million. More firefighters were expected to arrive to help the 250 personnel already assigned to the fire.

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