State and federal fire crews have contained two of three wildfires which have burned more than 400 acres this week in western North Carolina.
Steep terrain is causing problems for firefighters dealing with a blaze in northern Caldwell County, however, and that blaze is only 20 percent contained, according to the N.C. Forest Service.
Two of the blazes -- the Globe Mountain Road fire in northwest Caldwell County, and the Bald Mountain blaze in Davidson County -- have been contained. Crews are allowing those blazes to burn themselves out.
But the High Eagle fire in northern Caldwell County remains uncontrolled.
That fire is burning in a large area of forest in mountainous northern Caldwell County, off U.S. 321 between Lenoir and Blowing Rock.
It was reported about 11:30 a.m. Monday by passing motorists and spread rapidly, due to dry conditions and extremely steep terrain. Roger Miller, a spokesman for the N.C. Forest Service, says the blaze jumped several control lines early Tuesday and has burned more than 65 acres of privately owned land.
Light rain that fell Tuesday gave crews a chance to set up additional control lines. Miller said crews also burned dead trees, to prevent them from falling across control lines and spreading the blaze. They also used bulldozers to move burning logs near control lines, fearing those logs could roll down hillsides and start new fires.
About 50 firefighters from the N.C. Forest Service and the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department have been battling the blaze.
The Globe Mountain Road fire in Pisgah National Forest burned about 250 acres earlier this week. But the U.S. Forest Service was able to get that blaze contained late Monday.
The third fire was several counties to the east -- near Denton in Davidson County. Dubbed the Bald Mountain fire, it started Sunday and burned about 115 acres. The N.C. Forest Service said the blaze, near High Rock Lake Dam, was brought under control Tuesday.
No injuries have been reported in any of the fires so far, and there are no reports of any buildings affected.
Rainfall in the region is about 7 to 10 inches below average so far this year, and conditions have been very dry since mid-September. The National Weather Service says no rain is forecast until at least next Wednesday.
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