Firefighters fight 1100 acre wildfire in Croatan National Forest - WNCT

Firefighters fight 1,100 acre wildfire in Croatan National Forest

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NEW BERN, N.C. -

Firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies are fighting a wildfire that began Friday night in the Croatan National Forest.

U.S. Forestry officials say crews were in the middle of a prescribed burn when their helicopter spotted the wildfire off of Bogue Road, near Highway 24, a different location from the burn.

Since then the wildfire has grown to more than 1,100 acres but officials say that number is artificially elevated because it also includes acres burned by firefighters during containment.

Officials say the wildfire has entered a protected area for the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker.  Earlier in the week forest officials prepped the area for the prescribed burn which, as a result, will block the wildfire from damaging the woodpecker's trees or causing much harm.

The fire is 60 percent contained and fire managers expect to have the fire fully contained by Sunday.

Nearly 20 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, North Carolina Forest Service, volunteer fire departments, Department of Defense and other agencies are working to extinguish the wildfire.

Heavy smoke could be possible on Highway 24 in Carteret County.  Drivers are asked to take caution.

No injuries or property damage have been reported.

The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.

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