MANTEO, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a wildfire burning for more than a month in far eastern North Carolina likely will keep smoldering until several inches of rain fall on the blaze over a few days.
The fire in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare County has burned more than 45,000 acres since starting May 5 from a lightning strike. Smoke from the fire has blanketed the northeast coast and Outer Banks. A code purple air quality warning — the most severe category — is again in effect for Dare County on Sunday.
Firefighters say the blaze is 75 percent contained, but several days of heavy rain will likely be needed to completely extinguish the blaze. They say the fire is burning the peat soil, which can smolder for weeks or months.