A forest fire blazing in the Woodlawn area had scorched 200 acres on Monday and was expected to consume more acreage overnight.
On Sunday at approximately 6 p.m., crews responded to a forest fire burning on private land within the Dobson Knob area off Old Linville Road. Fire spread onto U.S. Forest Service property, impacting the Pisgah National Forest near Dobson Knob.
Personnel were on scene throughout Sunday night and into Monday, battling steep, rugged terrain in an effort to protect properties near the fire. Air support arrived Monday to assist ground crews, with a command post established at North Cove Elementary.
Fire managers are looking to fall back to existing defensible firelines where possible. The area has a long history of wildfire, most recently the Bald Knob Fire in 2015.
“The fire seems to be north of Bald Knob, so we are trying to push it to the old burn scars from that fire to get containment,” Assistant County Ranger Chris Davis of the N.C. Forest Service said Monday. “There are about 10 to 15 structures threatened with a possibility of up to 30, but there are containment lines between those houses from the Bald Knob Fire.”
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To protect public and firefighter safety, some areas were closed. This closure covers all U.S. Forest Service lands north of Mountains to Sea Trail (Tr #440) and Dobson Knob Road (Forest Service Road #106), east of North Fork of Catawba River, south Old Linville Rd (State Road 1560), and west of Overmountain Victory Trail (Tr #308G). Closures are also in place for the Mountains to Sea Trail (Trail #440) from the North Fork of the Catawba River to Old NC 105 (SR 1238 / Kistler Memorial Highway) and Dobson Knob Road (FSRD 106).
Dense smoke from the fire affected northern parts of McDowell, according to officials.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation.
Marion, Woodlawn, Hankins and North Cove fire departments are assisting the U.S. and N.C. forest services with the fire.