Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 329
Columbia, North Carolina 27925

Contact: Howard Phillips- 252-796-3004 ext 226


News Release

July 8, 2008

Additional Portions of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Reopen for Public Access

PL Map

Areas between Boerma Road and Highway 94 remain closed due to the Evans Road Fire.
However, all other areas of the refuge are now open to the public.

Refuge Manager Howard Phillips announced today that additional portions of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge are now open for public access. The refuge was closed to the public the first week in June due to the Evans Road Fire. Phillips reopened the Pungo Unit of the refuge on June 7. At this point, the public may again use all areas of the refuge east of Highway 94 and west of Boerma Road. Essentially, the only portions of the refuge closed to the public due to the Evans Road Fire are the sections between Boerma Road and Highway 94.

"This does not mean that the Evans Road Fire is out," explained Phillips. "It means that at this point, we feel the fire is not a danger for people using the other areas of the refuge. If the fire flares up, jumps a containment line, or threatens those areas again in any way, we'll have to re-evaluate and close whatever portions we need to close to assure our visitors will be safe while they're on the refuge."

The Evans Road Fire, which started on private land south of the refuge on June 1, has grown to 41, 543 acres. For the past 2-3 weeks, the fire has remained approximately the same size; however, groundfire and smoke impacts have been major issues. Officials continue to say the fire will likely not go out until a major rain event, to the scale of at least a tropical storm, occurs.

For more information about Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, visit http://www.fws.gov/pocosinlakes or call the refuge office at 252-796-3004.

Map- Courtesy of USFWS