Fire along NC mountain ridge still burning 6 days after first igniting

North Carolina news

KING, N.C. (WGHP) — A fire in the Sauratown Mountains is still burning after consuming about 40 acres since igniting nearly a full week ago. But it may be nearing its end.

The fire, which ignited Tuesday, was about 95 percent contained as of Monday afternoon, according to North Carolina Forest Service District 10 Operations Officer Sam Griffith.

A team of about 45 people from across the state has been working the fire, but they are now turning over control to the Stokes County NC Forest Service team. The local team will continue to have support from District 10 if needed.

At about 11 a.m. Tuesday, fire crews responded to what started as a brush fire on a ridge of the Sauratown Mountains.

Logan Whitaker, rescue captain with Danbury Volunteer Fire Department, said it took over an hour to get to the source of the fire from the base of the mountain because of the secluded and rough terrain.

“It was very strenuous getting up to the actual incident — the steep hills, a bunch of boulders and rocks. It’s just getting up there to it in a great amount of time, a great number of people, to get up there, because once you get up there, you didn’t really have the energy to do anything,” Whitaker said.

Fire crews said they used fire rakes, chainsaws and leaf blowers to contain the fire from spreading as Huey helicopters dropped 300 gallons of water from the Pinnacle Water Shed.

Late Friday, the law enforcement division of the North Carolina Forest Service determined that a campfire sparked the blaze. They suspect the campfire was related to deer hunting, according to Jimmy Holt, of the Forest Service. The campfire was located on private land on the eastern flank of where the wildfire is now burning. The Forest Service has not determined who started the campfire.

Crews said no injuries were reported from the fire, and no homes were in danger.

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