Heat and Dry Conditions Held Responsible for Reigniting N.C. Fires

June 29, 2007

Hot, dry weather over the past 10 days has rekindled a fire in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, authorities said Monday.

Over the last couple weeks, the fire at Shortoff Mountain has grown from 1,900 acres to 3,000 acres, according to officials.

More than 100 people are working the fire, along with two helicopters, four engines and one bulldozer, said Gil Knight, incident information officer with the U.S. Forest Service.

Firefighters plan to conduct burnouts over the next several days to confine the wildfire within the Linville Gorge Wilderness area. Those burnouts could cover as much as 2,000 acres, Knight said.

Firefighters use burnouts to clear out combustible fuels inside the control lines to make it more difficult for wildfires to jump the lines.

In addition to the Shortoff Mountain fire, the 816-acre Dobson Knob fire began burning again Monday when a hot spot flared up along a containment line. Firefighters used helicopter water drops to control the blaze.

Both fires started June 8 from lightning strikes. Almost all the burned land is within national forest land in Burke County.

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