Two Wildfires Burning in Western North Carolina

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There are two active wildfires burning in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

As of of Tuesday afternoon, a Burke County wildfire near the Linville Gorge Wilderness area had spread to 10 acres along Old N.C. 105 north of Lake James

The last official report stated that the fire was burning on the south end of the Gorge, adjacent to but not on the actual wilderness area.

It was reported to the Grandfather Ranger District on Monday afternoon, and crews worked through the night to contain the blaze despite being impeded by strong winds.

The 10-acre Burke County fire as seen on Monday, Oct. 24.

A helicopter was also on the scene.

An investigation into what caused the fire is still underway, but U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Jennings said that human error is suspected.

Nantahala National Forest Fire

A second fire is burning in the Dicks Creek area of the Nantahala National Forest near the town of Sylva.

While this fire is said to be sixty percent contained, it encompasses 374 acres, according to a news alert issued at 5 P.M. yesterday by the USFS.

Smoke is visible on US 74 near Sylva and is expected to settle in to the valley as temperatures drop in the evenings.

This fire was discovered on the morning of Sunday, October 23, and, like the 10-acre blaze threatening the Linville Gorge, it is believed to be human caused.

“The public is encouraged to use extreme caution with outdoor fires this fall,” the USFS said in a statement. “Western North Carolina is currently in a severe drought and fire danger is extremely high. Dry and windy conditions are predicted to remain in the region through early December.”

Click here for some valuable tips on outdoor fire safety.


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