U.S. 117 in Duplin County reopens after closure from dense smoke

DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -U.S. 117 in Duplin County has reopened between Magnolia and Rose Hill. Duplin County Emergency Management is asking drivers to still urge caution when traveling through the area. They say strong winds throughout the night and into Wednesday morning allowed smoke in the area to disperse. There is no longer danger or threat to travel in the area.

Duplin County EMA says “There is potential for smoke to linger in the area over the next several days, and those traveling Highway 117 South are urged to use caution and avoid the area if at all possible. Officials will be continuously monitoring travel conditions and visibility over the coming days to ensure the public remains safe and conditions do not worsen.”

The highway was closed in both directions due to poor visibility from smoke from a nearby fire.

On Tuesday, the dense smoke caused numerous car crashes and forced Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary School to shut down at 10:00 a.m. after smoke got into the school.

Officials say the smoke is from a legal, prescribed fire on private property that happened over the weekend and continued to burn.