Forest Service: Croatan wildfire was intentionally set

Forest Service: Croatan wildfire was intentionally set

STELLA, CARTERET COUNTY - Investigators said a 40-acre wildfire at the Croatan National Forest was intentionally set.

The fire is located off Old Church Road, near Highway 58 in Carteret County. According to the Forest Service, someone intentionally set the blaze at five different locations at about 5 p.m. Monday. No arrest has been made.

The wildfire has since been contained, but crews are still working to extinguish the flames, officials said. The blaze did threaten a house and a barn, but no damage was reported. No one was hurt either, but officials said it could have been much worse.

"These fires could end up being catastrophic if they are set in the wrong place," said Fire Management Officer James Cherry. "In some places, it could've gotten up to 100 feet. It was to the tops of the trees."

The smoke from the wildfire is expected to cause visibility problems on Highway 58 between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, a Forest Service official said.

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