Pisgah Forest Fire Growing Near Lineville Gorge - WSPA.com

Pisgah Forest Fire Growing Near Lineville Gorge

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MORGANTON, N.C. -

Firefighters are making little progress in controlling a wildfire in Pisgah National Forest in Burke County. The blaze has grown some 400 acres since Friday, estimating the blaze to be about 2,275 acres and 40% contained.

Officials are pulling back more than 100 firefighters as weather conditions continue to change, creating strong winds which make fighting the flames even more dangerous.

Federal fire fighters from 4 states have joined forces in North Carolina to battle the blaze. There is nearly 140 personnel working the fire according to the North Carolina Forest Service.

Deborah Walker of the U.S. Forest Service said authorities used "burn-out tactics" Thursday. That involves establishing containment lines in the ground, then starting a fire moving toward the active fire. Walker said the new fire creates a barrier that the active fire cannot pass because the burned out areas remove fuels.

Those "burn-out tactics" will increase smoke in the area this afternoon. However, officials say no homes are threatened at this time. Crews are protecting two dozen structures at the Outward Bound complex.

Some trails in the area have been closed because of the fire. The public should check the National Forests in North Carolina website for the latest closure information before planning any trips into the Linville Gorge.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Investigators are interested in talking with the group who was camping at Table Rock Picnic Area on Veteran's Day. Investigators believe this group has information that will help their investigation. Anyone in that group or with information about the people in that group should call Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp at 828-442-2470 or the Grandfather Ranger District at 828-652-2144

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