NEBO, NC, February 2, 2017- Fire crews completed successful burnout operations on the Sugar Cove fire yesterday evening, increasing containment to 90%. The fire grew to 577 acres, with much of the growth due to the burn out. Little to no additional fire growth is expected.
Burnout operations yesterday allowed firefighters to secure firelines by removing leaf litter, sticks and twigs that could fuel fire growth. Today, crews are working to put out remaining hot spots along fire lines, as well as removing any hazards along NC-80.
NC Highway 80 will reopen at 6:30pm today.
The Woods Mountain Trail (TR 218) will reopen tomorrow, Friday February 3rd. This trail includes the portion of the Mountains to Sea Trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway to US-221.
The fire is located northeast of NC Highway 80 in the Singecat Branch and Burgins Creek drainage. The fire is managed by both U.S. Forest Service and NC Forest Service resources with approximately 65 personnel including local volunteer fire departments from McDowell County and McDowell County Emergency Management.
The fire began on private land on Saturday, January 28, at approximately 1 pm and resulted from a brush burn pile that escaped and burned onto the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. The public is encouraged to use extreme caution with outdoor fires. Western North Carolina continues to be abnormally dry despite recent rain and snow. For tips on protecting your property, visit www.ncfirewise.org.
Unless conditions change, this will be the final news release regarding the Sugar Cove Fire.