Fires continues to burn as smoke looms over Pilot Mountain

Officials believe the fire at Pilot Mountain State Park was sparked by human activity on Saturday, Nov. 27.

Fires continues to burn as smoke looms over Pilot Mountain
December 02
13:02 2021

Sadly, we have become accustomed to hearing about the wildfires that plague California, which have destroyed millions of acres of forest land and millions of dollars of property. That is what makes the fire at Pilot Mountain State Park seem so out of place, yet so close to home.

Anyone travelling north on U.S. Highway 52 will begin to smell the smoke almost as soon as you cross the Surry County line and then only a few miles in, the plumes of smoke gather over the horizon.  

At the time of publication, the Grindstone Fire has burned over 1,000 acres of land. 

But officials say the fire is well within the containment barriers that have been placed at the bottom of the mountain.  

Ranger Jimmy Holt said, “The fire is 20% contained. There are 20% containment lines we feel good to walk away from and 80% containment lines that require our attention.”

Exacerbating the situation is the weather. There has been no significant rainfall in November and there is no rain forecasted for the remainder of the week. The dry conditions add to the difficulty in preventing the spread of the fire.

Because of the dry conditions, the N.C. Forest Service has issued a burn ban, effective Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. The ban is in effect until further notice and suspends any current burn permits.  

The Forsyth County Office of Environmental Assistance and Protection posted in an alert, “Particle pollution levels will be elevated as the wildfire smoke rotates through the Triad.” They do not expect particle pollution to reach unhealthy levels, but the agency said people with asthma or other health issues should limit their time outdoors.

In a Facebook post, North Carolina State Parks and Recreation stated that all access to Pilot Mountain State Park has been closed in the foreseeable future.

It is believed that the fire was started by human activity.  The exact cause is still undetermined. 

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