May 20, 2015

Wildfire on Alligator River
Refuge now under control

A wildfire that may have been started yesterday by lightning is now apparently under control on the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and N.C. Forest Service personnel responded about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to a report of smoke in the refuge along the shore of Croatan Sound, north of Point Peter Road and south of Callahan's Creek.

However, firefighters were pulled from the site about 5:30 p.m. because of continuous thunderstorm activity in the area.  At that time, the Soundside Fire was estimated to be approximately 20 acres in size.

This morning, a Unified Command was established with Fish and Wildlife Service Incident Commander Ed Christopher and N.C. Forest Service Incident Commander John Cook in leadership.  

The incident commanders were able to walk to the fire location this morning  from the sound shore.  Although there was no visible smoke, "areas of heat" were observed. 

"The rain overnight helped a lot," Christopher said.  "But, there are some areas of heat on the edges of the fire.  We'll be building line around the fire and reinforcing that l
ine as our 'insurance policy' to make sure this fire doesn't move."

This morning, 16 personnel from the two agencies were working the incident with two flextracks, three marshmasters, and the Forest Service plane out of Kinston providing aerial support.   

By early this afternoon, incident commanders reported that the all resources had been pulled off the fire.  Security lines were placed around the area, and the Forest Service plane was scheduled to provide a final assessment.

The fire burned over 85.3 acres, and refuge staff members will continue to monitor the site for the next several days.

For timely and up-to-date information, please check the USFWS in North Carolina Facebook page at

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