Cause determined in North Carolina Whipping Creek fire

The Whipping Creek wildfire in Hyde/Dare Counties of North Carolina. April 22, 2016 Credit: USFWS in North Carolina

HYDE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — North Carolina Forest Service officials have determined that the Whipping Creek Road wildfire was ignited as a result of a right-of-way maintenance operation.

Officials say mowing or bush-hogging could be a source of ignition “when stones or other metal debris is struck by the mowing blades.”

The fire started on April 18, and has since burned more than 15,000 acres of land in the Dare/Hyde County line of eastern North Carolina. It spread across U.S. 264 to the south and Stomper Road.

U.S. 264 was closed on Sunday between Stumpy Point and Englehard so that air tankers could drop water on the fire. Officials say 264 has been reopened.

In addition, officials declared on Monday that the fire has been 54 percent contained.

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