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North Carolina wildfire causes road closures in Unaka Ranger District

From Staff Reports

The Unaka Ranger District, Cherokee National Forest, is closing Forest Service Roads 31 (Hurricane Creek Road) and 422 (Shad Road) in Cocke County, Tenn., due to the Silver Mine Fire burning on the Appalachian Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest (Pisgah), in North Carolina.

The 500-600-acre fire, located approximately one mile east of Hot Springs, N.C., on Hwy. 25/70, is burning on the Pisgah and private property.

The following roads and trails are closed on the Pisgah: Hwy 25/70 East of Hot Springs; Hurricane Gap Rd (NC-FS467); Mill Ridge Rd (NC-FS113); Appalachian Trail from town of Hot Springs to Hurricane Gap; Lovers Leap Loop Trail (#308); Pump Gap Trail (#309).

North Carolina Emergency Management is assisting with the closures. All routes are closed to protect public safety.

U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina Forest Service firefighters are assessing the fire and nearby structures. Several structures in North Carolina are threatened. A history of wildfires in North Carolina are allowing firefighters to use existing containment lines.

This evening there were a series of three fire retardant drops on the west side of the fire to protect private property. Air Tankers from Chattanooga flew in for these drops.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.