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Forest official calls Croatan wildfire 'suspicious'

Wildfire scattered across 63 acres

Forest official calls Croatan wildfire 'suspicious'

CRAVEN COUNTY - Officials are calling a wildfire that has scattered across more than 60 acres of the Croatan National Forest "suspicious," saying it was likely started by a person.

The scene is off Highway 70 near Catfish Lake Road, where the pavement ends and the dirt road begins.

The fire is under control, said David Nelson, the assistant fire management officer with the U.S. Forest Service. But as of 9:30 p.m. Friday, crews stayed at the scene until around 10 pm. Crews came back to check on the fire Saturday morning.

Nelson said its the largest wildfire in the Croatan National Forest this year.

Someone first called at about 5 p.m. Friday about the fire, which has scattered across 63 acres of the Croatan National Forest, Nelson said. Crews spent about three to four hours getting the wildfire under control.

The wildfire was getting close to some houses, but crews were able to contain the flames and no damage was reported, Nelson told NewsChannel 12.

Nelson called the fire "suspicious" and said it was likely caused by a person. But  investigators are still looking into exactly how the blaze began.

The area where the fire started was a place in the forest where several trees were knocked down from a storm, Nelson added.


Crews are at the scene of a wildfire in the Croatan National Forest in Craven County Friday night.

According to Stanley Kite, the director of Craven County Emergency Services, the wildfire is off Catfish Lake Road, where the dirt road begins.

Kite said as of 6:43 p.m. Friday, the fire seemed to be under control. But because of the winds, crews will be staying at the scene to make sure the fire does not spread.

There is no word on what caused the fire. No injuries have been reported.

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