Controlled burn jumps fire line in Pilot Mountain

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PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- Officials said a controlled burn conducted by the State Park Thursday afternoon in Pilot Mountain jumped the fire line around 4 p.m.

Surry EMS Director John Shelton said the fire is not out of control and not near any homes.

Authorities said fire workers from eight departments are on the scene. Shelton said the fire jumped the line at Ledge Springs Trail.

Officials with Surry County EMS say people should not call 911 about the smoke, as people have been tying up emergency lines.

Authorities said about 20 people were on the scene as of around 6:30 p.m. and will remain there until around 11 p.m.

Officials said they plan to pump more water on the scene tomorrow.

“It’s interesting to see the mountain on fire,” said nearby resident Van Tucker. "The smoke was just coming up over the top, but this afternoon it had come over this side and I thought I might need to come take a look."

The smoke could be seen for miles and part of a controlled burn of 180 acres.

Many nearby residents are questioning why the controlled burn was allowed to happen on a dry and windy day. During the control burn the National Weather Service recorded wind speeds topping at 13 mph and wind gusts between 16-22 mph at the nearby Mount Airy Airport.  

“The smoke was bad, real bad,” said Gail Newsom, one of many residents questioning forestry officials. 

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