Update w/video: Crews fight wildfire on Dare mainland that’s sending smoke into towns

N.C. Forest Service crews in a helicopter and Marshmasters fight the blaze Wednesday afternoon. [Image courtesy USFWS]

A marsh fire burning on the Dare County mainland blanketed Roanoke Island and the northern beach towns with a thick layer of smoke Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the Roanoke Marshes Fire had burned 40 acres and was 75 percent contained in a section of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge east of U.S. 264 and halfway between Point Peter and Manns Harbor where there are no structures.

Video courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in North Carolina on Facebook

Along with federal firefighting equipment and personnel, the N.C. Forest Service has a helicopter, scout plane and two “Marshmasters” tracked vehicles are assisting.

Crews were pulled out of the fire zone due to thunderstorms that persisted in the area through the afternoon and evening.

“It will burn through the night, but staff will be back on it tomorrow at 8 a.m.,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in North Carolina Facebook page. “There is a rack line smoldering within the perimeter that will continue to produce smoke throughout the night.”

The cause has not yet been announced. A thunderstorm was in the vicinity shortly before the fire was spotted.

Stay with OBX Today for updates on this developing story.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.