Wildfire Burning At Brown Mountain In Burke County

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June 13, 2016 – Firefighters made progress on the Upper Creek Fire this weekend. The fire is now at 170 acres and 70% contained. Crews finished burn out operations yesterday, however, hot spots still remain. 35 firefighters are on scene today to patrol and monitor fire lines.
The Upper Creek Fire was reported Tuesday evening in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The fire is burning on U.S. Forest Service land in the Brown Mountain area in Burke County, north of Morganton, NC.
The Brown Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) area, Brown Mountain Road, and Pearcey Creek Road will remain closed this week until the area receives significant rainfall. To protect public and firefighter safety, the public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and to avoid the fire area and closed roads and trails.
The public can expect to see light smoke settling in the area overnight, particularly along low-lying sections of NC 181 and Brown Mountain Beach Road. Smoke impacts should continue to improve.
The fire was caused by a lightning strike last week. The U.S. Forest Service is leading fire response efforts, with assistance from the North Carolina Forest Service and Burke County Emergency Management.

June 9, 2016 – Firefighters are actively working on the Upper Creek Fire today, which has increased to 30 acres. 55 firefighters and a helicopter are on scene.

The Upper Creek Fire was reported Tuesday evening in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The fire is burning on U.S. Forest Service land in the Brown Mountain area in Burke County, north of Morganton, NC.

In order to protect public and firefighter safety, the Brown Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) area, Brown Mountain Road, and Pearcey Creek Road remain closed. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and to avoid the fire area and closed roads and trails.

Low humidity, uncommon for this time of year, is contributing to the growth of the fire. The public can expect to see light smoke settling in the area overnight, particularly along low-lying sections of NC 181 and Brown Mountain Beach Road.

Lightning strike records indicate activity in the area from thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. Firefighters have located the lightning struck tree that likely ignited this fire. The Brown Mountain area receives some of the highest densities of lightning strikes in North Carolina, resulting in a long history of wildfires along the fire-adapted ridge.

The fire is being managed to minimize impacts to private lands and natural and cultural resources while allowing the fire to move naturally through the fire-adapted terrain. Firefighters are falling back to natural fire breaks using a “confine and contain” strategy. Primary objectives are to protect the safety of the public and firefighters, minimize impacts to OHV trails, and restrict the movement of the fire towards private property. The U.S. Forest Service is leading fire response efforts, with assistance from the North Carolina Forest Service and Burke County Emergency Management.

Photo: US Forest Service
 Brown Mtn fire June 9

June 8, 2016 – The Upper Creek Fire was reported Tuesday evening in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The fire is burning on U.S. Forest Service land in the Brown Mountain area in Burke County, north of Morganton, NC.

The total size of the fire is currently estimated at 25 acres. The fire is expected to grow in size with dry, windy conditions forecasted over the next week. Firefighters are currently scouting containment lines in the area. 25 firefighters are on scene today from the U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina Forest Service.

In order to protect public safety, the U.S. Forest Service has closed all trails within the Brown Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) area. In addition, Brown Mountain Road and Pearcey Creek Road are closed. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and to stay away from the fire area and closed roads and trails.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but is suspected to be lightning caused. Lightning strike records indicate activity in the area from thunderstorms last week. The Brown Mountain area receives some of the highest densities of lightning strikes in North Carolina, resulting in a long history of wildfires along the fire-adapted ridge.

Brown Mtn OHV fire closure
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