Progress made as Great Lakes blaze now 30% contained

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Foresters say progress is being made on containing that huge fire burning outside of New Bern.

The U.S. Forest Service says the Great Lakes Fire’s containment has increased to 30%.

They say Saturday night’s thunderstorms resulted in beneficial rain with the fire’s northern perimeter five miles southwest of Coastal Carolina Regional Airport.

The fire remains at 36,000 acres, no change since Saturday night.

Twenty tractor plow units are constructing 25 miles of firebreaks around the fire’s edge in an effort to prevent it from spreading to private land. according to the latest update.

The Forest Service says people driving on highways adjacent to the fire, especially U.S. 17 and U.S. 70, should use caution. Saturday night the DOT said Catfish Lake Road and County Line Road were closed to all traffic because of the fire.

Craven and Carteret counties are under Code Red air pollution alerts because of the smoke, while Onlsow County is under of Code Orange alert for Sunday. The Forest Service says smoke is particularly worse in the mornings and evenings.

The Southern Area Red Team, a Type 1 Incident Management Team, is due to arrive Sunday. The fire will enter unified command between the U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service.

Foresters say there have been no injuries and no homes or buildings are threatened at this time. The cause of the Great Lakes Fire remains under investigation.