Lake Lure fire nears 1000 acres

The Party Rock Fire near Lake Lure has burned nearly 1000 acres and is only 15 percent contained as of Friday morning.

A fire near Lake Lure that has forced several residents out of their homes caused two additional houses to be evacuated due to the shift in wind as the blaze doubled in size by Thursday morning.

The Party Rock fire expanded across 977 acres Friday morning, according to the town of Lake Lure.

No structures have been lost from the fire that broke out on Nov. 5 but residents on Boulder Run Road, in the upper Firefly Cove subdivision off Boys Camp Road, were told to evacuate late Wednesday, according to the town of Lake Lure. About 25-40 homes were evacuated the day before.

Containment of the Party Rock fire dropped to 15 percent Thursday as the fire grew, according to the N.C. Forest Service. The fire was 30 percent contained Wednesday.

Flames are expected to move northwest as strong wind gusts were in the forecast for Thursday.

More than 100 firefighters have been battling the fire and planned to continue structure protection, burnout operations and planning on Thursday.

The fire is burning in Chimney Rock State Park about 1 mile north of Lake Lure. It began on the Party Rock trail and then burned east toward Carson Road and Boys Camp Road before making its way around the backside of the mountain, according to the N.C. Forest Service.

Several evacuations were also ordered in Clay, Macon and Swain counties as nearly 20 wildfires burning in the Nantahala National Forest increased in size and smoke became a larger concern.

Mandatory evacuations were issued for several locations in Hayesville including Cedar Cliff Road, Pounding Mill Road and Pounding Mill Loop. Residents on Nelson Ridge Road and Cold Branch Road were also asked to evacuate.

The Boteler fire, burning 6 miles east of Hayesville, was 3,504 acres and 10 percent contained by Wednesday night. Nearly 500 people have been working to maintain and protect fire lines.

An evacuation notice was issued Wednesday afternoon in Macon County for residents in immediate danger from the fire in the Queens Creek area of Nantahala. Those affected by the evacuation notice in the Partridge Creek and Deweese Road area of Nantahala have been contacted, CodeRed alerts have been sent out, and arrangements for shelter have been made through the Macon County emergency management director, Warren Cabe.

Macon County emergency management was asking residents to stay tuned to local radio stations, CodeRed messaging and Macon County Public Health Facebook page for up-to-date information. If you are not registered for CodeRed alerts, please visit the "For Residents" section on the Macon County website at www.maconnc.org.

Swain County emergency management services has also enacted a mandatory evacuation for all of Taylor Road and for the portion of Silver Mine Road south of the Taylor Road Intersection.

In Swain and Macon counties, the Tellico wildfire was at 5,160 acres and 10 percent contained by Wednesday night. States of emergency are also in effect for both counties.

A burn ban remains in place for several Western North Carolina counties due to extremely dry conditions.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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