Military flares wash up on NC coast; NPS warns they could reignite, cause ‘severe burns’

North Carolina news

Military flares wash up on NC coast; NPS warns they could reignite, cause ‘severe burns’ (Cape Lookout National Seashore/Facebook)

CAPE LOOKOUT, N.C. — Military flares have washed up on the North Carolina coast, and the parks service is warning people to stay away.

These “curious-looking items” appeared on the beach between mile marker 39 to 40, the National Parks Service’s Cape Lookout National Seashore branch said in a Tuesday Facebook post.

Though these military flares may look harmless, they are not.

“They use phosphorus to make their light,” NPS said. “Phosphorus burns when exposed to oxygen, but will stop when the flare runs out of fuel or if it ‘crusts over’ cutting off the oxygen. If not handled correctly (causing the crust to come off) the phosphorus can reignite causing severe burns.”

The Marine Corps bomb squad from Cherry Point is heading to the beach Tuesday afternoon to collect the flare and remove it safely from the beach.

“So stay away from these or any others you may spot on the beach,” NPS said. “Let us know where you saw them so we can have them safely removed.”

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