Western NC’s Party Rock fire now 80 percent contained

Party Rock Fire

Party Rock Fire

North Carolina Forest Service officials say the Party Rock fire in western North Carolina is now 80 percent contained but some hot spots remain, both near the containment lines and deeper within the fire area.

Using infrared cameras, firefighters were still finding hot spots within 15 feet of containment lines Friday night. Windy conditions overnight also caused some still smoldering embers to flare up, fueled in part by more leaves falling. Firefighters will continue to patrol both day and night in order to finish the job that so many people have worked on since fire broke out November 5.

Residents affected by the Party Rock fire are invited to attend any of three public meetings being held today, Saturday 11-26. The meetings are 10 a.m. at the Lake Lure Fire Station, 266 Memorial Highway; noon at the Chimney Rock Fire Station; and 2 p.m. at the Bat Cave Baptist Church.

“These will be informal gatherings,” says Public Information Officer Tom Fields, “just a chance for people to ask any lingering questions they may have about the fire.”

The visitor’s center at Chimney Rock State Park is open and if you are traveling to the area be aware of extra fire traffic on the highways and in the neighborhoods near the fire perimeter. The climbing area on Rumbling Bald is closed until further notice.

Party Rock fire information can be found on INCIWEB (inciweb.nwcg.gov/) or on the Town of Lake Lure website (www.townoflakelure.com/). A public information center phone line is open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. at (828) 513-2500.