Winds prevent containment of Linville Gorge fire

Light rainfall over the weekend wasn’t enough to slow the Table Rock fire in Linville Gorge nor will this week’s expected weather help much either, a fire official said Monday. “[The rain] has helped, but a half inch is not going to put this fire out,” said Deborah Walker, fire information officer for the U.S. Forest Service.  Fire officials pulled firefighters off the line Sunday because of windy conditions and this week’s forecast of wind and warmer temperatures will continue to make it too risky for firefighters to access the uncontained areas. As of Monday morning, the fire had burned about 2.275 acres, closing a number of trails, and was about 40 percent contained. “We have an uncontained portion of fire on the original south line that’s in steep and rugged country. It’s very difficult to get in there.  We can’t put crews in there to put containment lines,” Walker said. Instead, firefighters will cut snags and do dozer line and hand line construction to bolster their containment lines on the east and south sides of the area. The fire was first detected on Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Table Rock Picnic Area on the Grandfather Ranger District in the Pisgah National Forest. More than 190 personnel are involved with the firefighting effort. The cause of the fire is unknown. Fire investigators are asking the public to contact the Grandfather Ranger District at 828.652.2144 with any information about people in the Table Rock Picnic Area on Monday, Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day.

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