UPDATED: National Park Service confirms Frisco fire not ’caused naturally’

Cape Hatteras National Seashore entrance at Whalebone Junction.

The National Park Service said investigators have determined a wildfire that burned more than 5 acres Friday afternoon in Frisco was not caused naturally, nor was it the result of a discarded cigarette.

Witnesses reported seeing a sport utility vehicle traveled north on Inside Road just before the fire, which was discovered at 4:26 p.m. about 1/8 of a mile north of Ramp 48 between Inside Road and the beachfront on Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

“If visitors had not reported the wildfire after observing it, there is a chance that it could have spread to the village of Frisco and caused harm to life and damage to property,” the park service said in a news release.

Immediately after the 5.18 acre fire was extinguished, an investigation was launched and the park service asked for tips to determine what happened.

“The tip lines received multiple observations from the public,” the park service said. “We appreciate the assistance.”

The park service continues to ask anyone with information or who saw unusual activity in the area to contact the NPS Investigative Services Branch or the Dare County Community Crime Line.

Reach the NPS tip line by calling or texting 888-653-0009, go online to nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip” or email nps_isb@nps.gov.

Reach the Dare County Community Crime Line at darecommunitycrimeline.org or call 252-473-3111 or 800-745-2746.

The wildfire was the second along the Outer Banks last week. On Wednesday, a fire on an uninhabited island in Kitty Hawk Bay across from Colington was ruled a suspected arson.


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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com