Wildfire on Dare mainland now covers 1,000 acres, 60 percent contained

The Jackson Road Fire started burning in the early morning hours of March 8, 2022. [courtesy N.C. Forest Service]

A wildfire burning in the military bombing range on the Dare County mainland now covers 1,000 acres, but rainfall that started overnight and forecast to continue off-and-on for the next couple of days is expected to help efforts to control the blaze.

The Jackson Road Fire was 60 percent contained, according to an update posted Wednesday morning on the N.C. Forest Service’s situation page.

There have been reports since Tuesday of a strong smoke odor on Roanoke Island and elsewhere near the fire zone northwest of the village of Stumpy Point.

Areas near the Navy and Air Force bombing ranges in Dare and Hyde counties, and especially travelers along U.S. 264, are most likely to experience smoky conditions.

The fire is centered about 5 miles northwest of Stumpy Point in the Dare County Bombing Range. [NC Forest Service images]

The weather forecast today calls for periods of rain and possible thunderstorms, along with southwest winds that could push smoke towards the Outer Banks.

Winds will shift back to the north on Thursday and Friday which will move the smoke over the southern parts of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and towards Englehard.

A recent lack of rain has the region once again moving towards drought conditions after a mostly dry February. Northeastern North Carolina area experienced severe drought conditions through much of December.

In past droughts, the same area where the Jackson Road Fire is burning has been prone to wildfires that have ignited the nutrient-rich peat soils and smoldered for months.

This is a developing story, stay with OBX Today for updates.

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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.