NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – The U.S. Forest Services and state officials held a meeting Thursday night at Creekside Elementary School and talked with people feeling the impact of The Great Lake wildfire as it continues to burn.
The fire is still 30% contained and has burned 32,400 acres as of Friday morning. Officials said the fire is nearly two to three miles away from homes, but they’re confident they can keep this fire contained. If the fire were to spread, they have a plan, and everyone is working together to keep residents safe.
“We’re working to build basically a box around the fire so that it does not spread any further and we can protect all of the communities as well as the forest lands that surround the fire,” said Lee Williams, U.S. Forest Service public information officer.
Officials: Croatan fire possibly ‘human-caused’
An air quality control official explained during the meeting that looking ahead, hazardous and unhealthy conditions for the New Bern area associated with the fire aren’t expected.
A question was raised about an evacuation process and if notices would be given out ahead of time. It was explained that evacuations for fires are tougher to plan for, but necessary steps and action will be given.
The Croatan National Forest is home to historic artifacts. Crews are working carefully on how to control the fire with that in mind by having resource advisors who are scientists and experts that survey areas to determine if there are areas that need to be gone around before digging in the dirt.
Officials said one issue with this fire is that it’s burning downwards, which is why they’re hoping for more rain, but between the NC Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Services, local fire departments and other departments, they’re all on top of the fire.
For more information on the Great Lakes Fire you can contact the Fire Service (252) 285-6174. You can also email them at 2023.GreatLakes@firenet.gov or visit Great Lakes InciWeb, North Carolina Forest Service and CodeRED System to sign up to receive alert.