Fire update: Still burning

We've gotten some rain here in eastern North Carolina during the past week or so, and that's dampened things down some. But the fire at the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is still burning, and no one expects it to be extinguished anytime soon.

The problem is that the fire, which started June 1 from a lightning strike, is still burning peat. In some places it's actually burning underground. Firefighters are using helicopters and heat-sensitive infrared spotting equipment to detect underground fires that aren't visible to the naked eye. They're also now having to deal with some of the secondary damage caused by the fire. The secondary roads and state highways that they've used to bring in dozens of heavy firetrucks and heavy earthmoving equipment to fight the fire are starting to deteriorate after more than a month of this traffic. So now road graders are working to repair some of the damage.

The fire isn't going to be extinguished until we get a downpour from a tropical storm or hurricane.

More information about the fire is at http://www.fws.gov/pocosinlakes.

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