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South Mountains State Park wildfire update

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Pat McCrory, Governor
Susan Kluttz, Secretary
Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Sunday, November 13, 2016

South Mountains State Park wildfire update

The Chestnut Knob Fire at South Mountains State Park currently has a footprint of about 3,200 acres, as fire crews work on Sunday (11/13/16) to maintain containment lines within the park and just outside the park’s northern boundary.

About 120 firefighters are engaged in the incident, including personnel from North Carolina State Parks, the North Carolina Forest Service, NCFS BRIDGE crews and the Florida Forest Service.

Overnight, fire containment lines held generally well and calm winds and higher humidity on Sunday have aided that containment. The 3,200-acre wildfire footprint includes significant acreage intentionally burned with backfiring to rob the blaze of fuel along the forest floor. The crews have two major areas of interest. Along the southwest edge of the fire, crews continue to set backfires to prevent the wildfire from escaping into trackless areas of the park to the west, which would make containment especially difficult.

On the northern and northeastern edge of the wildfire, principally on private property, crews are strengthening containment lines, including the use of bulldozers, to prevent the blaze from advancing further toward private property and dwellings.

To this point, there have been no ordered evacuations, though residents in seven homes in that area were asked Friday night to voluntarily evacuate. However, should any evacuations become necessary, Burke County Emergency Management will notify residents in the affected areas through the Reverse 911 system.