McDowell County Fire At 550 Acres, 10% Contained, Smoke Visible In High Country

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NEBO, N.C., April 11, 2017 – The Dobson Knob Fire grew yesterday evening and overnight, and is now estimated at 550 acres and 10% contained. The fire was reported Sunday April 9th and is burning in McDowell County on the north side of Dobson Knob near the North Cove Community, north of Marion, NC.

Last night, firefighters continued structure protection for 35 residences and 10 minor structures that are threatened by the fire. Minor burnout operations took place around structures nearest the fire. No structures have been damaged.

Firefighters are working today to reestablish firelines used in the Bald Knob Fire (2015). Burn out operations may take place this afternoon as weather permits to secure firelines on the southern end of the fire. Firefighters will continue to improve structure protection for communities along Old Linville Rd.

Communities in the North Cove, Woodlawn, and Linville Falls area will continue to experience smoke today. Smoke is expected to be heaviest overnight and in the morning areas as it settles in low lying areas. Travelers along 221N should use caution.

In order to protect public and firefighter safety, an area closure remains in effect. The closure covers all U.S. Forest Service lands north of Mountains to Sea Trail (Tr #440) and Dobson Knob Road (Forest Service Road #106), east of North Fork of Catawba River, south Old Linville Rd (State Road 1560), and west of Overmountain Victory Trail (Tr #308G). Closures are also in place for the Mountains to Sea Trail (Trail #440) from the North Fork of the Catawba River to Old NC 105 (SR 1238 / Kistler Memorial Highway), the Overmountain Victory Trail (Tr #308G), and Dobson Knob Road (FSRD 106).

The fire started on private property and is now burning on both private land and U.S. Forest Service land on the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. 90 firefighters from the North Carolina Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, McDowell County Emergency Management, and local Volunteer Fire Departments are responding. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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