Lost Cove Wildfire near Linville 60% contained, burns 1,000 acres, forest officials say
What started the fire, which began burning on Christmas Eve, is still under investigation.
AVERY COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Firefighters are making progress containing the Lost Cove wildfire in the mountains.
The fire, which started on Christmas Eve, is burning in the Wilson Creek watershed on the US Forest Service Grandfather Ranger District in Avery County.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, crews worked through the weekend, including on Christmas, to secure firelines on the Lost Cove fire burning near Wilson Creek.
That’s 10 miles southeast of the town of Linville.
So far, the fire has burned about 1,000 acres, forest officials said. Firefighters have it about 60% contained.
The Lost Cove Fire has now backed down to Lost Cove Creek and Gragg Prong within the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area. These creeks provide containment lines on the south and east side of the fire.
Officials say the fire continues to burn through the leaf litter within the containment area with low intensity. In using the creeks as containment lines, fire managers are working to minimize impacts of fire suppression within the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area.
Officials say this indirect method of firefighting keeps firefighters out of direct danger from the fire front, as well as reduces the need for construction of new firelines within the sensitive Wilson Creek watershed.
On Tuesday, firefighters continued to improve the fireline on the northwest side of the fire to protect private property near the Roseboro community. This included limited burnout operations to remove any remaining fuel between the active fire and the fireline. Fire managers monitored the fire as it backed into the drainages for Lost Cove Creek and Gragg Prong.
On Wednesday, officials say firefighters are patrolling and monitoring the fire perimeter. Some light rain fell on the fire area overnight, and additional rainfall may occur later in the day.
The outlook of firefighting operations beyond Wednesday will depend on if enough rainfall occurs to fully extinguish the flames.
Emergency closures remain in place for the Huntfish Falls Trail (TR #263), Darkside Cliffs Trail (TR #272), Lost Cove Loop Trail (TR #262) and the Timber Ridge Trail (TR #261), including the sections of the Mountains to Sea Trail that follow Gragg Prong between Roseboro and Pineola Roads. The public is asked to avoid recreating in the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area until the fire is fully contained.
A total of 14 firefighters from the US Forest Service are responding.
The response effort is supported by local fire departments from Collettsville and Linville, as well as the North Carolina Forest Service.
What started the fire, which began burning on Christmas Eve, is still under investigation. It began near Bee Mountain in a remote part of the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area, according to officials.
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