UPDATE 1: Saturday, April 22, 2023

The Great Lakes Fire was detected in the evening on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, prompting the response of fire personnel and resources to respond to the area which at that time was said to be the size of a 50-acre wildfire.

Photo Credit: NC Forest Service (below)

This is burning about two miles from the Craven in Jones County line in the Coatan National Forest near Jacksonville, NC, which is in the eastern section of the State.

Resources were attempting to contain the fire on Wednesday. Due to RED FLAG WARNING conditions consisting of dry and windy conditions, its fire behavior became extreme with a rapid rate of spread.

Cause: The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Saturday’s Incident Resources: Craven County FDs and Emergency Services, Jones County Emergency Services, US Marine Corps, Weyerhauser, NC Forest Service, and the USFS; unknown aircraft.

Sunday’s Incident Resources: Southern Area Red – Type 1 IMT. (arriving tomorrow) and to assume Fire Command on Monday.

Unified Command – Will go into effect on Sunday with the USFS and the NC Forest Service.

Size Up: 35,000 acres. 15% containment status. On Friday, the fire was at 7,000 acres (then increased to 12,000 acres which were said to be around 44% the size of Disney World) and with a 10% containment status.

Fire Behavior: Exgreme with the continued rapid rate of spread.

Fire Ops: Containment lines are still being placed around the fire.

Threats: None to Structures.

Evacuations: None. There are NO evacuations for Jones County at this time. For information, contact the Jones County Emergency Operations Center: at 252-397-0007.

Injuries to Civilians: None reported.

Injuries to Responders: None reported.

Previous Weather conditions reported: Light rain has fallen over the fire ground, helping with air and ground firefighting resources.

TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) is in effect: No UAVs, drones, or any other aircraft is allowed above, surrounding, or near the fire incident. Check the FAA for local restrictions in the area.

Air Quality: Smoke and an acid smell were said to have reached into the air in Virginia, east of I-95 on Friday. Early evening on Saturday, much-needed rain was falling in the area – hopefully helping fire crews knocked down this fire and get it under control.

Fire Danger / Alerts: As of April 22, 2023, Fire danger will be elevated in areas across the state, especially in the Mountains, Foothills & Sandhills, over the next week. Postpone all outdoor burning. Contact your local NCFS county ranger’s office for guidance. (NC Forest Service)

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