Changing weather could help spread Party Rock Fire

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LAKE LURE, NC (WSPA) – The Party Rock Fire, which has burned more than 3,700 acres, could become more dangerous this weekend because of changing weather conditions.

The North Carolina Forestry Service said Tuesday the fire that threatens the area around Lake Lure is 15 percent contained. An approaching cold front on Thursday is not expected to provide any rain, but should cause winds to increase.

The anticipated gusty winds could move the fire to the north and northeast toward Weed Patch Mountain and the Gray Rock community. It could also move the fire towards the evacuated communities of Rumbling Bald Resort.

Compounding the difficulty for firefighters is temperatures are expected to be in the 70’s while relative humidity levels are forecast to drop below 30 percent.

The strategy now is to plan for the possibility the fire could jump primary containment lines. Fire engines will also be placed in communities, along the expected path of the fire, to protect homes.

The Party Rock Fire is 3,744 acres in size as of Tuesday morning and has not grown significantly in the past couple of days.

The neighborhoods in Boys Camp Road will be opened for re-entry to residents starting Tuesday at noon. Anyone returning to Boys Camp Road neighborhoods are not permitted to access the Village of Chimney Rock.

A stretch of Highway 74-A leading into Chimney Rock Village from the north and south remains closed.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory address reporters Monday morning in Lake Lure with smoke visible from the Party Rock Fire.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory address reporters Monday morning in Lake Lure with smoke visible from the Party Rock Fire.

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