HYDE Co., N.C. - As the Ferebee Road wildfire in Hyde County, North Carolina, continues to burn, officials with the N.C. Forest Service say smoke and fog are impacted visibility through the weekend.
Impacts from the combination of smoke and fog created periodic visibility issues Thursday morning and during the Friday morning commute.
Steady winds moving southwest are continuing to push smoke from the northeastern parts of North Carolina and parts of southeastern Virginia, which falls in our viewing area.
Officials are reminding drivers to slow down, exercise caution and allow extra travel time for alternate routes heading into the July 4 holiday weekend.
As of Tuesday, crews working the Ferebee Road Fire have increased water flow into the high ground of the fire area. 388 million gallons of water have been pumped from the canals near New Lake and another 87 million have been pumped from Phelps Lake.
The fire area received significant rainfall over the weekend, helping to soak the surrounding areas and decreasing the risk of flare ups and spot overs. The Ferebee Road Fire remains at 1,938 acres in size and is now 70% contained.
Crews have begun work to repair the surrounding property roads as rain and increased foot and vehicle traffic have gradually worn down its accessibility.
Minimal smoke and fog impacts are expected over the next two days.
There are still no injuries and no structures damaged at this time.
According to the National Weather Service, drivers should keep the following safety tips in mind if they need to travel in foggy conditions:
- Slow down. Allow extra time to reach your destination.
- Make your vehicle visible to others in front of you and behind you. Use your low-beam headlights. Use fog lights if you have them.
- Never use your high-beam lights. High-beam lights cause glares, making it more difficult to see what’s ahead of you on the road.
- Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or change in traffic patterns.
- To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
- In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop.
- If there is no parking lot or driveway to pull into, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road as far as possible. Once you come to a stop, turn off all lights except your hazard flashing lights, set the emergency brake, and take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the taillights are not illuminated so that other drivers don’t mistakenly run into you.
Ninety-one personnel from the N.C. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working the fire.
A temporary flight restriction is still in effect for the fire. It restricts all civilian aircraft, manned and unmanned, within five miles of the fire, and will remain in place until aviation support is no longer needed.