A major wildfire in the South Mountains of Burke County continued to move toward homes Tuesday. Fire escaped the state park boundaries over the weekend and now has crossed what is called Bob’s Knob, moving in the direction of several houses.
A fire line was cut with a bulldozer in hopes of stopping the flames. On Tuesday, the blaze stayed within the lines. However, there was very little wind.
Officials are concerned about the coming weekend, when a strong cold front will bring gusty conditions.
“I don’t know where to go or what to do,” said Ricky Hoyle, whose home could be in the fire’s path. “It’s scary.”
Hoyle has loaded up belongings in his vehicle in case he has to make a quick getaway.
Lisa Smith, who lives nearby, has made preparations too, but she does not want to leave.
“We will stay until the last minute or when they make us leave,” she said.
The fire, which had covered close to 5,000 acres by late Tuesday afternoon, is being fueled by extreme drought conditions. Some sections of the fire scene have gone almost two months without measurable rain.
Residents around the area are pitching in by donating items – including food, water and socks – to rescue teams.
“It’s our community, so anytime there’s something that happens in the community, it’s important for the community to respond and help each other,” Kari Kennedy said.
Mitch Freeman is donating his time to collect the donations for firefighters.
“My family crawled out of the South Mountains. It’s where my heritage is,” he said. “My blood owns Camp McCall, and I would hate to see it go up in blaze. If I can free up one firefighter to help fight the fire, I’ll do whatever I can.”