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MANTEO, NC (AP) — Dare County officials say the fire in the Alligator River Nature Preserve fire is 97 percent contained.

Firefighters continued efforts Monday to pump water around the perimeter of the fire, as well as into the interior where access is available.

State officials say nearly 160 firefighters and support personnel are battling on the blaze.

The fire started May 5 and has burned 70 square miles, or nearly 50,000 acres. About 1,000 acres is burning now.

The National Weather Service predicts winds will be out of the south Monday, sending smoke in a northerly direction.

A burning ban remains in effect in 27 eastern North Carolina counties.

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


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