LAKE LURE (WSPA) – For the fourth straight day…smoke is filling the skies of the Carolinas, and it can be seen in parts of Tennessee and Georgia.
This is all stemming from a wildfire on the mountains near Lake Lure.
Wind speeds here reached 30 miles an hour today, which only hindered fire crews on the scene.
Now crews have to change their strategy to battle the flames.
Officials with the North Carolina Forest Service are focusing on maiming the containment lines, and making sure the wind doesn’t push the fire towards any houses.
The wind makes it hard to put the helicopters and planes in the air to dump water on the flames, so crews are having working on the ground to create containment lines.
Fifty homes face evacuation today if the flames continue to spread. To try and prevent this, crews are fighting fire with fire.
Ground crews are taking fire and lighting that off towards the wildfire. That way, the wildfire does not have any fuel to burn. That fire is going to meet the one set by crews and keep moving the other way.
Officials don’t know yet what caused the fire on Saturday.
Fire crews are on 24 hour watches to make sure the flames don’t jump the containment lines. If the fire does jump the lines, residents need to be prepared to evacuate immediately.
The town of Lake Lure closed all boat access to the lake Wednesday until further notice.
Town officials say a forest fire is creating hazardous conditions and a health risk.
They say the closure includes those commercial businesses that operate boats on the water.
This does not mean that businesses such as Larkin’s on the Lake are closed.
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality issued an air advisory. They say the Air Quality Index is 125, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups.
People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Less than 30 homes were evacuated on Quail Ridge including Huntington Road.
Blue Bird Road
Bald Mountain Crescent
Big Rock Lane
The town of Lake Lure declared a state of emergency Tuesday when the forest fire spread to 344 acres.
Town officials say the Party Rock Fire that started on November 5 at Rumbling Bald Mountain has crossed over some fire lines.
They say changing weather conditions and challenging topography makes it difficult for firefighters to contain the blaze despite their best efforts. and despite best efforts by local and regional firefighters to contain the blaze, sections of the wildfire continue to spread.
The fire is burning on public and private property. The Rumbling Bald Climbing Access and all backcountry accesses to Rumbling Bald Mountain remain closed until further notice.
On Wednesday morning, 20 fire engines were on Rumbling Bald Mountain. An incident management team of 37 personnel are overseeing the logistics.
They say the fire is 30% contained.
All structures were protected overnight.
Crews will continue to keep fire of evacuated roads.
Wednesday the wind will gust to 30 mph.
They have sent 20 fire trucks up to Rumbling Bald Mountain. Each one will protect a home.
They do not have planes to spread retardant yet due to the wind.
A burning ban is in effect for all of Western North Carolina until further notice.
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