Officials: Highway maintenance sparked North Carolina fire

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials say a fire that has burned nearly 14,000 acres in northeastern North Carolina was caused by highway maintenance work.

The North Carolina Forest Service said late Sunday investigators determined the fire in Hyde and Dare counties was sparked by mowing or bush-hogging. Officials say cutting dead grass and leaves can spark a fire when stones and other metal debris are hit by the blades.

Officials reopened US 264, but urged motorists to watch for smoke or fire. Firefighters are still working along the road.

No injuries have been reported.

A fire that burned nearly 1,600 acres in Brunswick County is now contained.

A fire in Madison County has burned nearly 1,600 acres in western North Carolina. Officials say about a dozen homes are threatened by that fire.

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