NEBO, N.C., March 26, 2016 – Favorable weather conditions Friday allowed firefighters to make progress on containing the North Peak Fire in McDowell County. The fire is now estimated at 570 acres and 70 percent contained.
The North Peak Fire was reported Wednesday morning, March 23 on North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission Game Lands. The fire is also burning on private and Pisgah National Forest Lands on the Grandfather Ranger District. The fire is located in rugged terrain north of Lake James Road, east of Hankins Road, and south of Bald Knob, just north of Lake James and 5 miles northeast of Marion, N.C.
Firefighters improved containment lines yesterday using burn out operations to remove fuels within the fire area. Today, firefighters will continue to patrol the area and mop up hot spots. Minimal growth is expected within the containment lines. 32 firefighters are currently assigned to the incident. A helicopter will be assisting today.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and N.C. Forest Service (NCFS) are managing the fire jointly with resources from both agencies and support from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, McDowell County Emergency Management Services, Hankins-North Fork Volunteer Fire Department, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Minimizing risk for firefighters, local communities, and the public are primary goals. Smoke may be present today near Lake James. Members of the public traveling in the area should use caution when driving. Officials are asking the public to avoid the area for their own safety and the safety of emergency response personnel on scene.
The Over Mountain Victory Trail in the Bear Creek area is closed to provide for public and firefighter safety.