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Prescribed burn in Croatan creates huge wall of smoke

(Photo courtesy of Tara Lindsey-Messier)

HAVELOCK, Craven County - Continuing a series of controlled burns that have been occurring this week in the Croatan National Forest, Thursday's prescribed burn has kicked up a huge plume of smoke that can be seen for miles and is drawing tons of interest from nearby residents.

Two prescribed burns, totalling more than 1,000 acres took place on Wednesday, leaving some smoke in the area Thursday morning. That was replaced by new smoke from a 550-acre prescribed burn being conducted along Millis and Nine Mile Roads near Newport.

The burns are done to reduce the amount of hazardous fuel on the forest floor to lower the risk of potentially catastrophic wildfires.

A helicopter is being used to monitor the burn.

Another burn is slated for Friday in the Croatan National Forest, this time on Piney Island in the southern portion of Pamlico Sounds. That controlled burn is being conducted by the Cherry Point Environmental Affairs Department with assistance from Croatan National Forest and Cherry Point Fire Department personnel.

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