Firefighters Responding to Wildfire in Linville Gorge
NEBO, NC (April 29, 2019) — Trail and area closures are in place as firefighters respond to a fire burning in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area on the US Forest Service Grandfather Ranger District in Burke County, NC. The Brushy Ridge fire was reported on Sunday afternoon. The fire is located in a remote area near the Linville River at the end of the Brushy Ridge trail on the northeast side of the Linville Gorge. The suspected cause of the fire is an abandoned campfire. The estimated size as of this morning is 5 acres.
Firefighters hiked in last night to assess the fire and determine strategies for suppression. The fire is in a hard to reach location, 2.5 miles down into the Gorge. Firefighters returned this morning and are working to contain the fire to a small area. Additional resources are arriving on scene. Firefighters are dealing with steep terrain and thick vegetation as they search for control points.
The US Forest Service has issued an emergency closure for the area within the Linville Gorge Wilderness north of the Hawksbill trail and east of the Linville River. This closure includes the Brushy Ridge Trail (TR #235), The Jonas Ridge Trail (TR #245) and the Devils Hole Trail (TR #244). Drone use is prohibited in the fire area. The Hawksbill Trail (TR #248) remains open at this time.
Visitors in the Linville Gorge Area are asked to use caution, as firefighters will be using area roads to support suppression operations. Hikers can expect to see and smell smoke. Additional trail closures may be put in place if conditions change.
The US Forest Service response effort is supported by the Jonas Ridge Volunteer Fire Department and the North Carolina Forest Service.