UPDATE: Onshore winds pushes smoke inland from Tyrrell County wildfire

UPDATE: Onshore winds pushes smoke inland from Tyrrell County wildfire

March 26th, 2023

UPDATED, Sunday 5:30 p.m.: A shift in wind direction and moderate to heavy rainfall have helped cut down the amount of smoke along the Outer Banks, and fire crews have made progress in containing a wildfire burning on the mainland since Friday.

The N.C. Forest Service says the Last Resort Fire in Tyrrell County has updated its estimate of the fire zone to 5,200 acres with 34 percent containment.

Authorities caution those driving in the areas near Creswell, Roper and farther west intoWashington and Martin counties should expect low visibility through Monday, including along U.S. 64, N.C. 94, N.C. 99, N.C. 45, N.C. 32 and adjacent secondary roads.

View of the smoke in the Newland Road area in Washington County:

The fire started on private land on Friday, then spread into parts of the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, fueled by gusty southwest winds.

From Friday evening through Sunday morning, the smell of smoke was in the air in areas east of Creswell out to the Outer Banks from Corolla to Nags Head. Hazy conditions were also reported.

Scattered showers are forecast to continue over the fire zone through midday Monday. Winds are expected to remain out of the east overnight, before returning to the southwest on Monday that could push smoke back towards the Outer Banks.

Then a shift to the northeast is forecast for Tuesday that would move the smoke in the direction of Little Washington.

Operational resources working the fire include 66 personnel. There are no injuries and no structures threatened at this time. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The public is reminded to keep drones away from wildfires. While drones provide unique opportunities for aerial video and imagery of wildfire activity, they are unauthorized. Flying a drone near or around a wildfire compromises the safety of pilots and interferes with firefighting efforts.

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