NC mountain wildfire blamed on abandoned campfire, 2nd blaze reported Sunday

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JONAS RIDGE, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – Forestry officials say an abandoned campfire is the suspected cause of a wildfire in Linville Gorge in the North Carolina mountains.

The U.S. Forest Service tells news outlets that the Brushy Ridge Fire was reported Sunday afternoon and is in a remote area near the Linville River at the end of the Brushy Ridge Trail on the northeast side of the gorge.

Another wildfire in the mountains was also reported on Sunday in Burke County near Rhodhiss Lake.

Forest service spokeswoman Lisa Jennings says firefighters hiked into the Brushy Ridge area on Sunday after the fire was first reported to assess the fire and determine how to put it out.

Jennings said the effort to fight the active Brushy Ridge fire is ground-based, but she said air support will be brought in if necessary.

“Firefighters are dealing with steep terrain and thick vegetation,” a U.S. Forest Service news release said.

An area has been closed off to the public from Linville Gorge Wilderness north of the Hawksbill trail and east of the Linville River.

Visitors to Linville Gorge are asked to use caution because firefighters will be using local roads to launch operations.

In the wildfire another Sunday, several fire agencies responded to an area near Icard at Rhodhiss Lake, where a wildfire was spreading, according to Lovelady Fire and Rescue.

The fire near Weaver Lane was found down logging roads near the lake, fire officials said.

The wildfire consumed about two acres before it was extinguished by Drowning Creek Vol Fire Department and Lovelady Fire and Rescue.

The cause of that fire was not known on Monday.

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