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Baum Point Island fire being investigated as arson

A fire early Wednesday morning on Baum Point Island sent smoke billowing into Colington Harbor. John Van Riper, Dare County Forest Ranger with the NC Forest Service, said the fire was intentionally set.

The low-lying Baum Point Island is an uninhabited, difficult to access island lying just off Colington in Kitty Hawk Bay. Forest Service personnel monitored the fire throughout the day while allowing it to burn. Van Riper said by mid-afternoon, the fire was nearly out and forecasted rain should extinguish the remaining fire.

Van Riper made a point of saying that the fire wasn’t a prescribed burn. He said the fire service would never sanction a prescribed burn that early in the morning and so close to a community with the stiff 20 mph wind blowing, as it was this morning. He said this isn’t the first time the island – popular with duck hunters – has been set ablaze.

Forest Service officials are asking anyone with information regarding the party responsible for setting this fire contact the Dare County office of the NC Forest Service at 252-473-2531 or the Dare County Sheriff’s Office at 252-475-5980.

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