Fire better controlled; U.S. 264 to reopen
Grounded for a day because of heavy smoke, helicopters were back in the air dumping water on the fire.
The fire was still a threat to the community of Stumpy Point, but authorities plan to reopen U.S. 264 to limited traffic on Thursday, a statement from the multi-agency team fighting the fire said Wednesday night.
Fire fighters will continue to widen lines of defense ahead of the fire.
Over the weekend, the fire was 85 percent contained. Then on Monday, high winds pushed it over the containment lines and it advanced north three miles overnight.
The wildfire, which has been burning for three weeks, covers 29,000 acres.
Managers of the Alligator River National Wildlide Refuge are working on plans to relocated captive red wolves if necessary. None appeared to be threatened on Tuesday.
Heavy smoke is still affecting nearby communities.
Vehicles will be escorted by a pilot car on U.S. 264 starting at 10 a.m. Travel will be limited initially to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Waits of up to 30 minutes at checkpoints are likely.
Lightning apparently started the fire May 5. It is in the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge and the Dare County Bombing Range.
Smoke advisories for the area can be found at: www.weather.gov/mhx.
Home page photo by Chris Carlson
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