Carteret County residents recount tense moments as wildfire spread

ATLANTIC, N.C. (WITN) — Thick smoke blanketed Carteret County Sunday and Monday as a massive brush fire burned over 520 acres since it started Sunday afternoon.

Emergency personnel and firefighters from across Carteret County swiftly mobilized to contain the fire, which posed a threat to 20 homes in the Atlantic area of Down East Carteret County.

Tyler Polizzi, an Atlantic resident, recounted, “The forestry people knocked on our door and we had to relocate. We stayed at my step-sister Nana’s house for the night. But we came back here and it was pretty bad. The fire was up to our waist and it jumped the road.”

Fortunately, no injuries have been reported, with damage limited to a shed behind a residence.

Carteret County Emergency Director Stephen Rea advised residents to avoid Highway 70, Highway 12, and Corduroy Road due to ongoing firefighting efforts and lingering smoke hazards expected in the coming days.

As of Monday evening, emergency personnel have contained approximately 75% of the wildfire.

Investigations into the fire’s cause are slated to continue even after full containment is achieved.