Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

May 22, 2011

7:00 PM - U.S. Hwy. 264 to re-open for limited public travel

Fire officials on the Pains Bay Fire near Stumpy Point in Dare County, NC have determined that roadway conditions are now safe enough to re-open the highway beginning at 10:00AM, Monday, May 23 for limited public travel during daylight hours. The 12 mile section of US 264 between Stumpy Point and Engelhard was closed on May 6 due to concerns for public safety.

Pilot car escorted travel on US 264 will begin at 10:00 AM, Monday morning. Initially, travel will be limited to 10:00AM- 7:00PM daily. Fire officials plan to extend the hours of travel in coming days as smoke along the roadway subsides. Drivers should expect up to 30 minutes wait at check points.

Fire officials warn the traveling public that delays may be necessary at times due to heavy smoke on the highway or fire suppression activities. Firefighters on the Pains Bay Fire have recently encountered extremely heavy smoke, called super fog, which makes visibility near zero. Super fog is formed when smoke combines with fog to produce fog that is much more dense than commonly seen.

Fire officials are hopeful that this initial re-opening will help ease some of the inconvenience that commuters and businesses have encountered due to the Pains Bay Fire.