Rutherford County Wildfire Scorches Nearly 7200 Acres

Credit: Andrea Nanney

(Rutherford County, N.C) The Party Rock Fire in Rutherford County has burned nearly 7200 acres since it first ignited 13 days ago, officials said.

New numbers were released Friday afternoon by the North Carolina Forest Service, which is taking the lead in putting out the blaze.

The fire triggered evacuations in Henderson and Rutherford counties and covered the popular Lake Lure and Chimney Rock communities with thick smoke.

The fire is about 36% contained, but there is concern strong winds could cause flames to spread. Forecasts say those winds could kick up as early as Saturday, a day when the evacuation order in Chimney Rock is slated to be lifted for business owners and residents.

More than 900 firefighters from across the country are helping to put out the fire and and protect structures in the path. Early estimates list damage costs at about $10 million.

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