Source: McDowell Co. fires intentional

Emergency crews say the two new fires in McDowell County were set intentionally.

MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- A source close to the fires charring Western North Carolina tells NBC Charlotte that two new fires have emerged in Clear Creek and Curtis Creek and they appear to have been intentionally set.

According to the source, as of Sunday morning, the two new fires had charred 60 acres near the creeks in McDowell County.

A source told NBC Charlotte Monday evening that they believe people are intentionally setting roadside fires; numerous calls came in reporting suspicious persons near where the fires started.

No suspects have been located. 

The prospect of two new fires will cause a serious concern for firefighters on the front lines of the Party Rock Fire. Strong winds have been testing fire containment throughout the weekend.

The North Carolina Forest Service says the Party Rock Fire did not grow outside the containment lines Saturday.

"If we can hold it one more day, we should be in great shape," Incident Commander Dan Brandon said during Sunday morning's debriefing.

The size of the Party Rock fire remains at 7,171 acres, with containment at 36 percent. Hills charred black can be seen near Chimney Rock Village's main drag of businesses and homes. So far, the fire has not resulted in the loss of any homes or structures.

The North Carolina Forest Service says that more than 900 structural and wild land firefighters are working day and night to protect homes and businesses.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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