Wildfire officials hoping NC rain will help

COLUMBIA, N.C. Fire spokeswoman Melissa Yunas said the area received less than a half inch of rain Saturday night. A trace of rain had fallen Sunday, and forecasts were for an inch or more.

Yunas said firefighters were concerned that the storm could bring only winds that would spread the blaze and endanger firefighters by blowing over trees whose roots were burned.

The fire has burned 41,553 acres in and around Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge since it started June 1.

State officials have lifted a ban on open burning in 10 eastern North Carolina counties.

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