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Inside Look At Table Rock Wildfire

Forest rangers give News 13 a look at a wilderness area blackened in the Table Rock mountain wildfire near Morganton.

The fire raged through a heavily-wooded section near the Spence Ridge Trail in the Linville Gorge. It wiped out hundreds of acres of rhododendron as the winds blew flames through the underbrush.
The Table Rock mountain fire has burned nearly 2,300 acres of the wilderness area. Sunday's storms put a half-inch of rain on the fire, but didn't put it out. Firefighters used pumper trucks to put out embers still smoking in the burned woods.

Firefighters are worried about the dry weather, hot sun, and high winds blowing sparks into unburned sections of the gorge.

The following is the latest press release from the Forest Service:

"BURKE COUNTY, NC Firefighters spent the better part of the day constructing containment lines around the Table Rock fire, in the Linville Gorge. The fire that began on Tuesday, November 12th, in the Table Rock Picnic Area is still proving difficult to fully contain. Close to a half inch of rain fell in the gorge over the weekend, but that was not enough to ease the minds of the North Carolina Type 3 Team who is tasked with suppressing the fire. There were isolated smokes in the gorge today, but just because there is no smoke does not mean there is no heat. The team expects there to be a steady increase in smoke over the next couple of days as the fuels start to dry out as a result of warmer weather. That could lead to the potential for embers to ignite unburned areas and allow the fire to burn across the drainage.
Fire crews focused on mop up and patrol around the Outward Bound camp, and worked with the property owners to improve their defensible space around individual structures. A dozer line was constructed around the facility last week, and the area was burned out as part of the mitigation measures. These additional measures will enhance the safety of the residents when they return.
There was no increase in fire acres today and the total still stands at 2,275 acres with 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 transition to the Type 2 Incident Command Team begins tomorrow.
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.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, fire investigators would appreciate talking with the group who were camping at Table Rock Picnic Area last Monday, Veterans Day.  Investigators believe this group has information that would aid in the investigation. A reward may be offered for substantial information regarding this investigation and persons should contact Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp at 828-442-2470 or the Grandfather Ranger District at 828-652-2144."

Related  Links:
Linville Gorge Fire
UPDATE: Linville Gorge Wildfire


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