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Fire in Dare County has burned nearly 50,000 acres

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MANTEO, NC (AP) -- The fire burning in the Alligator River
Nature Preserve in Dare County has covered 70 square miles.

North Carolina Forestry officials reported Friday the fire is
emitting thick smoke as peat in the containment area continues to
burn more than a foot into the ground.

That's one of several fires burning in North Carolina. A blaze
in Pender County has burned more than 21,000 acres in the past
week.

A separate fire near Atkinson in western Pender County jumped
containment lines Thursday because of the high winds. It's burned
60 acres so far.

A blaze that started in Bladen County has scorched more than
1,200 acres.

Forestry spokesman Bruce MacDonald said scattered thunderstorms
have helped extinguish some flames, but accompanying higher winds
have pushed fires in unexpected directions.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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