Emerald Isle Fire Dept. increases staff for 4th of July weekend


EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – People are getting an early start to the 4th of July weekend on the coast. Unlike other states, beaches on the Crystal Coast remain open and people are taking advantage.

The town of Emerald Isle is prepared for the influx of people and all hands are on deck at the town’s fire department.

More lifeguards will be on the beach stand in Emerald Isle because of the increase in visitors. Two of them will be stationed at the Eastern and Western Regional Ocean Beach Accesses, while six of them will be patrolling the beach strand.

Employees will also be on standby at the fire station to respond to any firework incidents.

Captain William Matthias, the ocean rescue coordinator with the town’s fire department says his team typically sees dune grass fires during the 4th of July.

They say even legal fireworks like sparklers can start a fire fed by strong winds. They ask people to be careful when setting off fireworks around dunes because the grass can burn easily.

According to Matthias, the department runs an estimated six to 12 outside-fire incidents between July 3rd to the 5th.

There is a potential to bring in more personnel in case the number of water rescues rise.

The town of Emerald Isle expects to see heavy traffic and more people this weekend. They ask you be considerate of others and social distance.

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