GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Hiking and camping are popular activities in North Carolina this time of year. However, outdoor recreation comes with some responsibility.

We’re in the middle of North Carolina’s spring wildfire season, which starts in March and runs through the end of May. Something as simple as throwing a lit cigarette or not properly attending to a campfire is enough to spark a wildfire, especially when conditions are dry, windy and unstable, the main ingredients of fire weather. 

Max’s Mad Lab: Wildfires

When you hear the word wildfire, most people think of California, and for good reason. But North Carolina is no stranger to wildfires. In fact, our state sees tens of thousands of acres burned in a typical year, and it’s not unheard of for fires to get a lot larger than that.

Day 15: Croatan National Forest fire 65% contained, 32,400 burned

We’ve already seen two large wildfires in ENC this spring, including the 36,000-acre fire in the Croatan National Forest. When that fire swelled in size, you could see smoke blocking the sun all around Eastern North Carolina, including Greenville, which is 40 miles from the fire.

At the New Bern Spring Carnival smoke was covering the sky on what was otherwise a clear day, creating a really startling image. Unfortunately, just like 89% of wildfires, this one is suspected to be human-caused.