Weather: Smokey Enough For Ya?

Story by Matt Young. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – You may have walked outside today and noticed the smell of something burning and a distinct haze in the air. My assumption was that something nearby was on fire.

The Town tells us that the haze and smell of smoke Cary residents are experiencing is the result of fires outside of the Town, including wildfires in Pender and Dare counties and a controlled burn at Fort Bragg. All of these are a good 2 – 4 hour drive from Cary!

This “weather” is being caused by the “perfect storm”.

Dare County

It has been reported that the 45,000 acre fire in Dare County that started on May 5 is now contained, but another fire began late Monday near the Bladen-Cumberland county line near Pains Bay. The May 5  fire was reportedly started by lighting in the Alligator River National Wildlife Reserve. Rodanthe and Manteo are holding public meetings today as the locals have health concerns.

Dare County says the smell we are experiencing in Cary is “smoldering peat”.

Pender County and Fort Bragg

Meanwhile further south, 4000 acres burn in Pender County. Emergency management says a fire at Holly Shelter Gamelands was caused by a lightning strike on Saturday.  Most of the haze today in Cary was caused by this fire. Add to this a firefighting training exercise that is “under control” by Fort Bragg personnel.

Cary Response

The Town of Cary canceled all outdoor sports programs and activities, including softball, baseball, sand volleyball and tennis, for Tuesday night due to smoky skies and low air quality as defined by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

Programs and activities scheduled for Wednesday morning and afternoon will be held as scheduled since they can be moved indoors as needed. Participants will be contacted directly in the event of a cancellation. A decision regarding Wednesday evening’s parks, recreation and cultural resources outdoor programs that begin after 5 p.m. will be made by 3 p.m.  Athletic program cancellations will be listed at (919) 319-4500 or you can visit

3 replies
  1. CutterNC
    CutterNC says:

    I just love how apparently it was only Cary being smoked out… also love how the big green dot that is CARY encompassed the entire triangle region. EXACTLY the kind of attitude and bias that made me leave Cary.

  2. Valerie!
    Valerie! says:

    Awesome article, thanks for the breakdown! I thought there was a tire fire somewhere until I read about what was going on on WRAL earlier. The map you’ve posted here is great. I was wondering how our area fell into this.

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