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Smoke from Linville Gorge fire spreads 70 miles south to Lincolnton

The wildfire in the southern end of the Linville Gorge wilderness on Wednesday night.
The wildfire in the southern end of the Linville Gorge wilderness on Wednesday night. WBTV

Smoke from this week’s Linville Gorge wilderness fire in the N.C. mountains spread Friday night as far south as Lincolnton, where firefighters urged residents to stay indoors if the smoke was bothering them.

Smoke from the fire was beginning to settle in the city, the Lincolnton Fire Department tweeted at 8:03 p.m.

“If it causes you problems, please stay indoors,” the department said.

Lincolnton is about 70 miles south of Linville Gorge via Interstate 40 East and U.S. 321 South.

An Observer reader in Dallas, N.C., reported seeing and smelling the smoke in the northern Gaston County town at about 7:30 p.m. Another reader said she smelled the smoke at Northlake Mall in north Charlotte.

The fire was 80 percent controlled by Friday morning after an intentional burn-off of vegetation that would fuel the blaze. The fire covered 4,355 acres and was burning near Shortoff Mountain, at the south end of Linville Gorge in Pisgah National Forest.

More than 150 firefighters battled the blaze late Thursday.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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