Teen charged with starting huge NC wildfire last year

The Party Rock Fire as seen from Chimney Rock. (Photo credit: Ryan Lubbers/WLOS)

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. — A teen faces charges in connection to the Party Rock Fire that burned for several weeks in western North Carolina last year, WLOS reports.

The 17-year-old is charged with “negligently setting or causing to be set on fire of any woods, lands or fields in any county under the protection of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” according to the Town of Lake Lure.

The Party Rock Fire burned 7000 acres in the areas of Lake Lure, Chimney Rock Village, and Bat Cave, and caused mandatory evacuation of area residents, in November of 2016.

That area consists of 2489 acres on North Carolina State Park property and 4653 acres on private property.

Firefighting costs are estimated at $7 million.