Lost Cove Wildfire 80% Contained – Final Update

NEBO, NC (January 1, 2022) — Light rain and humid conditions over the last two days allowed firefighters to continue progress containing the Lost Cove Fire, which remains at an estimated 1,000 acres and is now 80% contained. The fire has burned to the containment lines throughout much of the fire area, and only minimal interior hot spots remain where large, downed trees continue to burn.

Firefighters are continuing to monitor the fire throughout the weekend. The public can expect to see a small amount of smoke interior to the fire area, especially in the afternoons as warm temperatures dry the fuels. At this time, there are no concerns for the fire escaping the containment area. This will be the last operational update for the Lost Cove Fire.

Photo courtesy of James de la Riva, USFS

The fire, which started on Christmas Eve, is burning in the Wilson Creek watershed on the US Forest Service Grandfather Ranger District in Avery County, NC. The fire began in a remote part of the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area near Bee Mountain. Firefighters responded quickly on Christmas Eve, building firelines on the northwest side of the fire to protect 6 homes in the community of Roseboro. Much of the initial firefighting efforts focused on ensuring this fireline held to protect private property. No structures were damaged or lost. On the south and east sides, the fire slowly backed down Timber Ridge to Lost Cove and Gragg Prong Creeks, where the wet creek valleys provided natural containment lines. Much of the 1,000-acre fire area burned with low intensity, removing leaf litter and fuels and minimizing loss of overstory trees.

Emergency closures remain in place for the Huntfish Falls Trail (TR #263), Darkside Cliffs Trail (TR #272), Lost Cove Loop Trail (TR #262) and the Timber Ridge Trail (TR #261), including the sections of the Mountains to Sea Trail that follow Gragg Prong between Roseboro and Pineola Roads. Closures will remain in place at least through the weekend, and an additional update will be provided when fire managers lift the closure.

12 firefighters from the US Forest Service remain on scene this weekend. The response effort is supported by local fire departments from Collettsville and Linville, as well as the North Carolina Forest Service. We would like to extend gratitude to all the firefighters who responded over Christmas, New Years, and throughout the holidays, as well as their families and friends who sacrificed time with loved ones.

The cause of the Lost Cove Fire remains under investigation.

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