BURKE COUNTY, NC – Firefighters are making progress on containment lines for the Table Rock wildfire in the Linville Gorge. Recent rains have slowed progression of the fire, but concerns still exist over a section of uncontained line along the southern fire flank. Crews continue to improve contingency lines along Forest Road 118 and the US Forest Service property line.
There is still a large area of unburned fuels between the active fire and those lines. A concern is that fuels in those areas could re-ignite uncontained portions of the current fire line perimeter. The strategy Tuesday was to monitor fire progression and ensure resources are in place if the fire moves south. Infrared aerial photos were taken Tuesday morning to look for hot spots along the fire lines. Patrols did notice an increase in heat Monday as the winds picked up and fuels began to dry out.
Work will continue on structure protection within the Outward Bound Camp. Crews working with the Camp will reduce fuels around buildings and eliminate fire hazards. North Carolina Forest Service personnel are assisting with land owner contacts and providing advice on how to improve defensible space.
Fire size remains the same Tuesday morning, with 2,275 acres burned to date and 40 percent containment. No additional structures are threatened and no additional injuries or accidents to report. There are 193 personnel working on the fire and the Type 3 Incident Management Team will transition with the Type 2 Team throughout the day.
For information on the latest road and trail closures, visit the National Forests in North Carolina website. Visitors should check the website before planning a trip to the gorge. Additional information and photos can also be found at the Incident Information System website http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Fire investigators are looking for any information or observations that may help determine the cause of the fire. A reward may be offered for substantial information and persons should contact Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp at 828-442-2470 or the Grandfather Ranger District at 828-652-2144.