According to reliable sources, the Pains Bay fire is 75% contained, but nobody is clear on what that actually means. We’re all in the dark on when this thing is estimated to burn out. Some sources have reported that the fire can burn for months to come, but if we get a solid streak of heavy rain, it could end much sooner.
So how does this affect your Hatteras Island vacation? Well, since the fire started on May 5th, certain areas of the Outer Banks have been more heavily affected than others. This time of year is known for strong southwesterly winds, carrying smoke throughout the northern Outer Banks. With that said, whether or not you are affected by the smoke, depends 100% on wind direction.
As a matter of fact, I have found that the smoke trail has been relatively narrow. Meaning, if you are in a part of the Outer Banks experiencing dense smoke one day, simply drive out of it to enjoy your day at the beach. To make this more affective, drive against the wind about 10 miles. If the wind is coming from the SW, Nags Head will probably have dense smoke, so drive to South Nags Head or even as far as Pea Island. If the wind is NW, the Avon area will probably have dense smoke, so drive North to the Tri-Village (Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo) area.
Simply put, be mindful of the wind’s origin. If you are on vacation and find yourself in dense smoke, drive North or South against the wind, not with it. If you are down wind of the smoke, the air quality is still in jeopardy even though you may not be experiencing dense smoke.
For the sake of the people who are in close proximity to the blaze, let’s remember that it’s not so bad over here on Hatteras Island, and we can get away from it. Chances are, they probably can’t. Let’s keep all of those people in our thoughts as we enjoy our Hatteras Island vacation!
Kurt Kessler & Outer Beaches Realty
Click the map below to read full details of the fire.