RUTHERFORD CO., N.C. (WSPA) – The Party Rock fire has increased to 3,457 acres in size, according to the N.C. Forest Service.
They say only about 15 percent of the fire is contained at this time.
The fire is active on all perimeters except for the east side. It has been most active on the northern perimeter, they say.
The southern edge of the fire continues to move downhill off Round Top Mountain and Rumbling Bald Mountain towards Boys Camp Road.
The fire was also at the woods line in some areas of Chimney Rock Village.
Firefighters have set up structure protection for homes on Boys Camp Road, Chimney Rock Village, and along Highway 64/74-A. Structure protection firefighters had hose lays deployed and were waiting for the fire to reach the wood’s edge before extinguishing it with water. This suppression strategy is used to completely combust all available fuel so reburn potential is minimized.
No structures have been lost to date.
About 1,000 people continue to be affected by evacuations.
Fire officials meet regularly with local emergency management services to review when people may be allowed back in and to assess if additional evacuation notices may be needed.
There were no changes in the status of evacuations over the past 24 hours.
A new evacuation shelter opened today at Grace Lutheran Church, 1245 6th Avenue West in Hendersonville; the shelter contact number is 828-693-4890. The Bat Cave shelter closed due to poor air quality. The Greenhill Baptist Church shelter has also closed.
For public and firefighter safety, travelers are encouraged to adjust speed for reduced visibility and firefighting equipment on the roads.
Area residents with respiratory ailments or sensitivities should keep their doors and windows closed and operate their HVAC system to avoid breathing smoke-filled air. Air Quality alerts can be obtained from the NWS at http://www.weather.gov/gsp/.
A stretch of Highway 74-A leading into Chimney Rock Village from the north and south remains closed. Road information can be accessed on the NCDOT Travel Information Management System website at https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/regionsummary.aspx.
Party Rock Fire information can be found on INCIWEB (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/) or on the Town of Lake Lure website (http://www.townoflakelure.com/).
Air Quality alerts can be found here.
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