Firefighters say unlikely future evacuations from Dobson Knob wildfire

Photo courtesy McDowell County 911/Emergency Management

MARION, N.C. (WSPA) – Firefighters say the Dobson Knob Fire in McDowell County has burned around 1,460 acres and is 40 percent contained.

The man-made fire started Sunday. However, the investigation into the exact cause is still ongoing.

Firefighters are optimistic about their ability to contain the fire and shared that news with people at a community meeting Thursday evening.

Dozens of people filled Woodlawn Baptist Church in Marion to ask questions of the commanders about the status of the fire.

Fire officials are still calling the homes closest to the fire “threatened” and say crews are working to put out the last hot spots closest to those homes.

“The fire was right at the mountain in front of us, had the wind turned it would’ve come up the ravine and been right at the back of our cabin,” said Linda Stevens, whose home was threatened.

Kevin Harvell, the Dobson Knob Incident Commander, says once they’re confident they have gotten all of the hot spots out and there’s no chance of re-ignition, then they’ll lift the warning. He says they’re hoping to do that by Friday evening.

Stevens didn’t have to evacuate her cabin, but her home is one of 35 threatened by the fire.  But, firefighters are optimistic about their progress.

“The guys on the line have made really good progress on some steep, rocky…country,” Harvell said.

On Thursday, the fire went from 15 percent containment to 40 percent.

“Through the weekend, the first of next week, we’re going to be very diligent making sure this fire stays put,” Harvell said.

Firefighters say smoke is still going to be an issue for the next couple of days. McDowell County Emergency Management issued an air quality alert through Friday at midnight.

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