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Person of interest sought in Burke wildfire

Authorities have released a photo of a man they want to interview in connection with a Burke County wildfire that has scorched more than 2,500 acres.

Firefighting crews had the blaze more than 50 percent contained Friday, but officials said they are concerned their efforts might be hurt when a strong cold front moves through the area Saturday.

The Table Rock Fire in the Linville Gorge area of Pisgah National Forest started Nov. 11.

The U.S. Forest Service released a photo taken Nov. 11 at the Table Rock campground, showing a man standing next to the truck. Authorities say they want to speak with the man, to see if he knows or saw anything that can help them determine how the blaze started.

Forest Service officials held a community meeting Thursday night in Jonas Ridge, to advise residents on how they have been battling the blaze and what they plan to do in the future. Crews have built containment lines around the fire, although rugged terrain on the south side of the blaze prevented firefighters from building the line near the actual flames.

The big concern now will come this weekend.

Gusty winds and low humidity levels are forecast after the cold front passes, from late Saturday through Monday. Humidity levels are expected to increase again Tuesday, and rain is forecast later Tuesday and Wednesday.

No injuries have been reported in the fire, and no buildings have been destroyed.

Anyone with information about the person in the photo is asked to call the Forest Service at 828-442-2470.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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