Update: Mainland marsh fire contained, debris could still produce some smoke

N.C. Forest Service crews in a helicopter and Marshmasters fight the blaze Wednesday afternoon. [Image courtesy USFWS]

A marsh fire that ignited Wednesday on the Dare County mainland that blanketed Roanoke Island and the northern beach towns with smoke was fully contained by mid-afternoon Thursday.

The Roanoke Marshes Fire in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge burned 160 acres of an uninhabited area east of U.S. 264, halfway between Point Peter Road and Manns Harbor, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Video courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in North Carolina on Facebook

Refuge and N.C. Forestry Service personnel used a variety of equipment, including aircraft and Marsh Master tracked vehicles, to battle the blaze on Wednesday until continued lightning nearby forced a suspension of their efforts.

They were back to work Thursday morning, and made quick progress through the day, bringing the fire totally under control by mid-afternoon.

A wrack line is the debris left behind after flood waters recede from the marsh.

While no cause was announced by authorities, a thunderstorm was in the vicinity shortly before the fire was spotted.

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Sam Walker was news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.