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Forest Fire: Mandatory Evacuations Ordered in Appalachia

Forest Fire: Mandatory Evacuations Ordered in Appalachia

Crews work a wildfire near Lake Lure Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. State transportation officials say the wildfire near Lake Lure has forced the immediate closing of U.S. 64/74A and N.C. 9 in Rutherford County. (Patrick Sullivan/The Times-News via AP)

By    |   Monday, 14 November 2016 09:01 AM

Forest fires prompted mandatory evacuations last week in some areas of Appalachia in North Carolina.

State officials said the Party Rock Fire has burned more than 2,000 acres and on Saturday threatened Lake Lure, a community with about 1,200 people, near Chimney Rock State Park, according to CNN. Officials evacuated 127 residences and vacation homes 30 miles southeast of Asheville.

The North Carolina Forest Service announced Friday that the mandatory evacuations included parts of Chimney Rock Village, residents and businesses on Boys Camp Road, from the Highway 74 intersection to the end of Boys Camp Road.

Evacuations also included residents and businesses on South Side Drive from the Flowering Bridge west to the Hickory Nut Falls Campground Bridge, and Hickory Nut Falls Campground Bridge intersection from Highway 74 to the county line, the forest service said in its statement.

A fire service statement added Sunday that the Party Rock Fire had grown to cover 2,883 acres and was only 13 percent contained.

"The fire was again active on all perimeters except the east side," the forest service stated. "The western edge of the fire moved further downhill overnight off Round Top Mountain and was at the woods line in some areas of Chimney Rock Village.

"Structure protection firefighters had hose lays deployed and were waiting for the fire to reach the wood's edge before extinguishing it with water. This suppression strategy is used to completely combust all available fuel so reburn potential is minimized," the statement continued.

State officials said Highway 74-A going into Chimney Rock Village remained close as the fire remained strong.

"Area residents did wake up to ground level smoke this morning," state fire officials in the statement Sunday. "With the cloud cover forecast to be in place all day, the ground-level smoke may not fully ventilate until later (Sunday) afternoon; some residual smoke could last into the evening hours."

WLOS-TV reported Monday that the Tellico Fire in Swain County has grown to 13,676 acres and was 39 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for people living along Big Dog Road, Gassway Road, Licklog Road, Long Branch Road, Luther Bingham, Mason Road, Morgan Road, Northern Partridge Road, Silver Mine Road, East Silver Ridge Road, Wesser Creek Road, and Wilkes Road.

The Boteler/Nantahala Branch Fire in Macon and Clay counties approached 8,700 acres and was 37 percent contained while fire at Maple Springs, covering 7,177 acres fires was 15 percent contained noted WLOS-TV.

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Forest fires prompted mandatory evacuations last week in some areas of Appalachia in North Carolina.
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Monday, 14 November 2016 09:01 AM
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