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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Forestry Service says dry and windy conditions on Thursday sparked up a fire they believe has been burning for more than two weeks.

“It’s no danger or threat to anyone,” said Ranger Bill Walker. “It is an island. It is not an inhabited island. The fire can’t go anywhere.”

Walker says the unnamed island is a part of The Masonboro Reserve. He says responders are not sure how the fire started but they have a few ideas.

“At this point, I’m assuming it’s a man-made fire,” said Walker. “Whether that be an accidental fire from someone camping on the island or it was intentionally set. I’m sort of leaning towards someone accidentally set a fire that got away from them. Cigarette butt, something like that.”

Walker says the fire may be an annoyance to residents in the area but it is actually a good thing for the island. He says it’s like the trees there are getting free fertilizer.

The Forestry Service says it would cost too much to put the fire out so they’re gonna let it burn. They hope rain comes soon to put the fire out or else it’s going to be a smokey commute for boater this weekend.

Comment on this Story

  • Kathy

    How would you get a spontaneous fire on an uninhabited island? Just curious

  • Chris


    Natural forest fires occur all the time on our planet. Whether or not this one is natural though, or caused by human negligence, I can not comment on. Lightening strike in dry weather is a very common cause of natural fires.

  • guesty

    A lightning strike.

  • DropIt

    By dropping a big fat doobie…

  • Guest7969

    it…MANY ways for it to happen…all natural.

  • Guest28480

    The island is not offshore. And if it were near a shore, it’d be inshore. But really it’s an island between Masonboro Island and the ICW or the mainland. We don’t have any offshore islands around here, do we?
    And hopefully there weren’t any campers caught out there although thats probably who started it.

  • Guest7969

    the NEAREST offshore island is Bermuda…

  • Citizen of the Republic

    It’s usually the welder, or a smoker.

  • Dunlin

    There are two 4 week old baby owls in a tree near the flames. The tree may already be burning and my friend, Capt. Lee, is on the island trying to keep the fire from killing these two helpless babies. It would be a shame if the Forestry Service allows those two little ones to burn. The island may not have people on it, but it has lots of wild life that won’t survive without help from humans.

  • Ariel

    I don’t think we should worry about its origin right now…just the fire itself. There could be a thousand reasons and noone can argue with that. Hopefully the baby owls were able to move somehow. That would be a sad loss ):


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