Person of interest sought in Table Rock fire

Person of interest sought in Table Rock fire

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 12:14 AM

MORGANTON, N.C. -- Investigators released a picture of a man they are calling a person of interest in connection with the Table Rock Wildfire that has been burning for nearly two weeks now in the Linville Gorge outside of Morganton.

The U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Deborah Walker said the picture shows a man standing next to a white Ford pickup that had been seen by other campers near the Table Rock picnic are on Veterans Day.

That is the time when investigators think the fire started.

"It is not that we are saying that he is the cause of the fire. It's just that we believe he was part of a group that was camping there.  He might have information that could be a lead in the investigation," Walker said.

The only other information released about the man is that he likely plays the guitar.

Tom Crews of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took NBC Charlotte reporter Rad Berky for the first look around the Outward Bound Camp in the Pisgah National Forest.

Firefighters have been working for two weeks to try to keep the flames away from the camp buildings and so far have succeeded.

Crews said it has not been an easy fight.

"Table Rock was just like a chimney creating an updraft when it was burning. Some people likened it to a volcano," Crews said.

The Forest Service's Walker said the fire will not be fully contained by Friday as had been hoped, and the concern now is that 30 to 45 mile per hours winds could accompany a front that is expected this weekend.

If anyone has any information about the person of interest that investigators want to question, they should call the lead investigator at 828-442-2470.

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