Escaped Campfire Blamed for Pilot Mountain (NC) Wildfire

Pilot Mountain wildfire
Smoke from the Pilot Mountain State Park wildfire is reflected in a private pond east of the park at sunset, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolina. The fire, which was reported to have started Saturday, has burned more than 500 acres as of Monday night and is expected to burn more as foresters set back fires to protect houses below the mountain. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) — A wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park has burned 1,100 acres (445 hectares) and was about 80% contained Thursday, according to the North Carolina Forest Service.

Though the humidity is low and winds are gusty, officials said the fire is within the existing containment lines and the resources are adequate. The blaze that was first reported Saturday evening in the park northwest of Winston-Salem was caused by an escaped campfire in an undesignated area, officials said. The park is known for its iconic knob that rises about 1,500 feet (450 meters) above the surrounding terrain. The park remains closed.

Officials issued a statewide outdoor burning ban Monday, citing dry conditions across the state.

Meanwhile, the 300-acre (121-hectare) Huntsville Mountain Fire on Pogue Mountain is about 45% contained, officials said. Currently, 10 structures have been threatened, but officials said no structures have been damaged and there have been no evacuations.

The cause of that fire is unknown and remains under investigation.

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