More rain helps curb wildfires in the Carolinas

Clear Creek Fire at Old Fort.
Smoke from Clear Creek Fire at Old Fort.

(WSPA) — Two days of rain helped keep Pinnacle Mountain Fire in the perimeter established three days ago and reduced the threat to nearby structures, fire officials said.

Supervisors scouting the wildfire’s boundary on Thursday morning reported good containment, and incident command officials are encouraged that the lines continue to hold well.

Crews won’t return to the most recently active portions on the northeastern section of the fire until the slick terrain and soaked ground dries out more. As conditions improve over the next several days, firefighters will return to the fire’s edge to reinforce the lines and backfire unburned areas where possible.

The wildfire is at 10,560 acres as of Wednesday and is 62 percent contained.

In North Carolina, 231 people continue to battle the Clear Creek Fire in McDowell County. Officials say most of the 3,163-acre fire has been contained as of Thursday.

Firefighters were unable to work on fireline rehabilitation due to rain and muddy conditions. They removed supplies from the fireline and continued to assess areas for rehabilitation needs.

Firefighters will continue assessing and working on rehabilitation projects as the area where the fire is burning dries out over the next few days.  Most crews are expected to be released from the fire on Saturday. Officials say the U.S. Forest Service will continue to monitor the fire.

Rain gauges showed the area had received a little more than three inches of rain since Tuesday, but officials say fuels will dry out quickly without continued precipitation. A drying trend is expected Thursday through Saturday.

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