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Smoke dried pine needles impacting Great Lakes Fire in Croatan National Forest

Map provided by the U.S. Forest Service

The Great Lakes fire in the Croatan National Forest remains at 32,400 acres and at 70 percent containment.

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service say people can still expect to see wildland fire engines and large equipment on roads in the fire area and traveling to and from assignments on US Hwy 70 between Havelock and New Bern.

Black Swamp Road will remain closed by barricades.

There are more than 200 people working to fight the fire from the air and ground.

Smoke dried needles falling from pine trees provide additional fuel, but one benefit is that hidden heat sources have been revealed when those needles start to burn.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to