Firefighters are responding to a wildfire burning along Old NC 105 (Kistler Memorial Hwy / SR 1238) near Linville Gorge, north of Lake James in Burke County, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The Paddy’s Creek Fire was reported Monday afternoon in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.
The fire is located near the south end of Linville Gorge, adjacent to the Wilderness Area. The total size of the fire is currently estimated at 10 acres. Firefighters worked through the night yesterday to construct containment lines and hold the fire during strong winds. A helicopter will be on scene today. No structures are currently threatened.
In order to protect public safety, the NC Department of Transportation has closed Old NC 105 north of Paddy’s Creek Rd. to the intersection with Forest Service Road (FSRD) 106. The public is asked to heed closures and to stay away from the fire area. At this time, FSRD 106 remains open, and can be accessed from the north end of Old NC 105.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but is suspected to be human caused. The US Forest Service is leading fire response efforts, with assistance from Burke County REACT, North Cove VFD, and NC Forest Service.
The public is encouraged to use extreme caution with outdoor fires this fall. Western North Carolina is currently in a severe drought and fire danger is extremely high. Dry and windy conditions are predicted to remain in the region through early December.
Editor’s Note: This post has been edited for a correction.