ROSEBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A North Carolina wildfire has now exceeded 350 acres in two days and is barely contained, according to fire officials.
The Lost Cove wildfire was discovered around 9:40 a.m. on Christmas Eve when it was about 2 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
By Christmas Day, the fire had grown to more than 80 acres. Late Sunday morning the fire had exceeded 350 acres and was just 10 percent contained.
The fire is at Grandmother Mountain in the Pisgah National Forest and about a mile from the base of Grandfather Mountain.
“As firefighters focus on protecting resources on the northwest end of the fire, the fire is expected to continue to burn to the south and east into the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area along Timber Ridge,” the U.S. Forest Service said.
Avery County 911 officials said that planes and helicopters were drawing water from a nearby lake for use on the wildfire. Linville Fire Department reported several such drops on Saturday.
Officials said 20 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina Forest Service are battling the Avery County fire.
Authorities did not know the cause of the fire yet, but said it “is suspected to be human caused.”
On Christmas Eve, fire crews were deployed to protect homes that were threatened by the growing fire.
Several trails have been closed in the area.
The following trails are closed:
Timber Ridge Trail (TR #261)
Lost Cove Loop Trail (TR #262)
Huntfish Falls Trail (TR #263)
Darkside Cliffs Trail (TR #272)
The Mountains to Sea Trail along Gragg Prong between Roseboro and Pineola Roads.
On Sunday, the wildfire was near Bee Mountain in a remote part of the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area, 10 miles southeast of Linville.
Grandfather Mountain officials announced Sunday that the mountain attraction was open and the fire “is not impacting park operations.”
Officials added, “We will continue to monitor the situation and we send our support to those fighting the fire.”