Wildfire on NC’s Pilot Mountain grows to 175+ acres; state park could be closed all week

North Carolina news

PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WNCN/WGHP) — Firefighters are still battling a fire that has so far burned more than 175 acres at Pilot Mountain State Park in Surry County, according to North Carolina State Parks and Recreation officials.

The call reporting the fire in Pilot Mountain State Park came in around 6 p.m. Saturday. It wasn’t known Saturday night how big the fire was, but State Parks officials said around noon Sunday that the fire had, at that point, “burned nearly 180 acres.”

The wildfire is in the area of the Three Bear Gully Trail in the state park.

Officials said that about 50 people from eight fire departments were involved in battling the fire Saturday night. Firefighters were taking a defensive approach due to the location and the weather.

Volunteer fire departments in the area had originally responded to the fire, but they were called off late on Saturday, according to the Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department.

As of Sunday morning, North Carolina Forestry Service and Pilot Mountain State Park staff were battling the blaze.

Officials said no one is in danger, and no injuries have been reported. Campers in the area were evacuated on Saturday night.

Authorities said Saturday night that high winds were causing problems for them as they worked to extinguish the fire.

Crews are expected to be on scene rotating in and out for the next 24 to 48 hours. More than 30 firefighters are working on Sunday to put the fire out.

The park is closed today and “likely all week” due to the wildfire, N.C. State Parks officials said.

Those curious to see the fire are being asked by N.C. State Parks leaders to “not use drones over the park in attempt to photograph” because drones “could interfere with fire fighting aircraft.”

Volunteers who fought the fire Saturday night included crews from Pinnacle Volunteer Fire Department, South Surry Volunteer Fire Department, Double Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Westfield Volunteer Fire Department, Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department, Shoals Volunteer Fire Department and Fall Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

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