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Pilot Mtn. park reopens after fire

PINNACLE -- Pilot Mountain State Park in Surry County is open again, following a wildfire that forced authorities to close the park earlier this month.

The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation said Wednesday that the main overlook at Little Pinnacle, along with the climbing area and some trails, remain closed to visitors. Clean-up is continuing in those areas.

“Park staff and the N.C. Forest Service continue to monitor a 675-acre area affected by the fire, as well as containment lines,” spokesman Charlie Peek said in a statement.

Peek said some damaged trees near the mountain’s summit are being removed.

But the park’s campground, picnic area and most overlooks are open to visitors, Peek said. Some parts of the trail system might be reopened within days, too, he added. The Grassy Ridge Trail, Corridor Trail and River Section already are open.

The fire began Nov. 8. It was a planned fire to deal with underbrush, but it spread beyond containment lines when embers from a dead tree blew into steep terrain.

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