Another large wildfire breaks out in NC mountains

Photo by John Clayton via NC Forest Service
Photo by John Clayton via NC Forest Service

MARION, NC — Another large wildfire has broken out in western North Carolina, officials said Sunday.

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Already, more than 1,000 firefighters are battling several wildfires that have been burning for at least a week.

Now, McDowell County officials say that a wildfire broke out late Saturday night and has grown to 800 acres by Sunday afternoon. Another smaller wildfire also is active in McDowell County, officials say.

The largest fire is called the Clear Creek Fire. As of Sunday afternoon there have been no evacuations, but Clear Creek and Curtis Creek areas are closed.

Emergency workers have gone door-to-door in the Clear Creek, Old Clear Creek and Ladybug Drive areas notifying residents of potential dangers, McDowell County Emergency Management said.

The smaller wildfire, reported by the McDowell News to be 60 acres, is called the Piney Mountain Fire and is along Curtis Creek Road about one mile from U.S. Highway 70.

Residents who live in the vicinity of Clear Creek, Old Clear Creek and Ladybug Drive, as well as in the Curtis Creek Road community, are asked to shelter in place at this time, emergency management said.

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The U.S. Forest Service has taken control of the Piney Mountain Fire in Old Fort.

Local, regional, state and federal crews continue to work the Clear Creek Fire.

Meanwhile, the Party Rock Fire near Lake Lure was held to 7,171 acres despite strong winds overnight into Sunday.

The Party Rock Fire has forced about 1,000 evacuations and remains 36 percent contained.

More than 900 firefighters are working day and night to protect homes and businesses in the Lake Lure area.

On Sunday, residents and business owners were allowed back into the Chimney Rock Village and Bat Cave communities but passes are required.

A Red Flag warning, meaning fire conditions are critical, is in effect for McDowell County.