HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Smoke from a wildfire in North Carolina is traveling down into the Grand Strand thanks to the wind, according to officials.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service in Manteo, NC, the Pains Bay Fire began around 2:30 p.m. May 5 in Dare County when lightning struck the area. The fire is currently burning nearly 45,000 acres on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Dare County Range at the Dept. of Defense.
While the fire has been burning for over a month, it is only 65 percent contained at this time.
The Fish and Wildlife Service said a burnout operation is ongoing with around 2,371 acres involved.
Suzie Heisey, spokesperson for the Pains Bay Fire, said a south wind has been blowing for the past few days, which is the reason for the smoke traveling to this area.
Growth potential remains extreme and the Fish and Wildlife Service said concerns remain of potential impacts to coastal area tourism due to smoke and air quality across the Eastern areas of NC.
That smoke has now traveled South as far as Pawley's Island.
Horry County Fire Rescue officials said many calls into 911 have been made regarding smoke investigations. No large fires are currently burning in Horry County, so remain cautious when making phone calls to 911 about smoke in the area.
Initial reports from the City of North Myrtle Beach indicated a controlled burn was taking place in Brunswick County, however, officials in Brunswick County said there are no burns going on in the county.
WMBF News continues to stay on top of the smoke and will provide further details as soon as they become available.