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Wildfire near Grandfather Mountain grows to 350 acres

December 27, 2021 GMT

LINVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A fire on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain has grown, officials said Sunday.

The fire is estimated to be 350 acres and 10% contained, the U.S. Forest Service said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but U.S. Forest Service officials believe it to be caused by someone, WCNC-TV reported.

“This fire is in a really remote area,” Forest Service spokesperson Lisa Jennings said Sunday. “So we’re expecting that it will increase in size within the containment area until we get a significant rainfall. But the important thing is that our firefighters have protected any homes and structures and so none of that is at risk anymore. It’s just kind of burning in the forest.”

The Linville Volunteer Fire Department said on its Facebook page that it had crews in the area on standby to protect structures from the fire that was reported on Friday in the Roseboro area. The department said the fire was on the Blue Ridge Parkway side of Grandfather Mountain.

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Grandfather Mountain features a nature park and a wildlife habitat as well as hiking trails and a Mile-High Swinging Bridge. It is located 75 miles (120 km) north of Asheville.

While a statewide burn ban has since been lifted since a large fire burned earlier this month on Pilot Mountain, brush conditions remain dry across the region.