Update: School dismissed early from traffic hazard, dense smoke that closed Duplin County highway

DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Update: Several Duplin County departments have controlled a traffic hazard caused by car crashes that began around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. First Responders and emergency crews worked after finding out about the hazard, to shut down US Highway 117 South from Sheffield Road near Magnolia, to Brooks Quinn Road near Rose Hill.

Representatives from the NC Forest Service, NC Department of Transportation, and NC State Highway Patrol are also on scene assisting with operations.

Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary School was dismissed early at 10:00 a.m. due to smoke entering the school buildings and grounds.

Officials have determined that the smoke is coming from a legal, prescribed fire on private property that happened over the weekend, which continued to burn.

Duplin County Emergency Management says weather conditions such as low relative humidity and light winds have caused the issuing smoke to remain in the area.

No structures were involved in the fire, and no serious injury has been reported.

Crews will remain on the scene and in the area to monitor the situation and will work to reopen U.S. 117 as soon as possible.

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Duplin County Emergency Management tells us Highway 117 has been closed at Sheffield Road, near the Town of Magnolia. They say dense smoke in the area has caused the road to be impassible. They advise that if you use this road, you must use an alternate route or detour for Tuesday. Crews are working to establish a posted detour route.

We’ll post more information as it comes in to us.