Wildfire continues to burn at a North Carolina state park

Nov 30, 2021, 5:44 PM | Updated: 5:58 pm
Fire burns along the lower sections of Pilot Mountain, late Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolin...

Fire burns along the lower sections of Pilot Mountain, late Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolina. The fire, which was reported to have started Saturday night, has burned more than 500 acres as of Monday night and is expected to burn 900 as foresters set back fires to protect houses below the mountain. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

(Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. (AP) — A wildfire at North Carolina’s Pilot Mountain State Park had grown to more than 1,000 acres (400 hectares) by Tuesday afternoon, twice its size of a day earlier, authoritiess said.

Officials said the blaze, which has burned more than 1,050 acres on Pilot Mountain, is about 20% contained and is burning only inside the park, news outlets reported.

Compounding the situation is that the area has received only 0.3 inches of rain in November with no significant prospect for precipitation for the rest of the week. Average rainfall for November is 3 inches (7.6 cm)

The park, northwest of Winston-Salem, is known for its iconic knob that rises about 1,500 feet (450 meters) above the surrounding terrain. It also towers above nearby U.S. Highway 52, and officials are advising motorists to slow down and turn on their headlights in smoky conditions.

N.C. Forest Service officials believe the fire, which started near a trail on Saturday, was caused by human activity, according to Jimmy Holt, forest service ranger for Guilford County.

He said law enforcement will investigate to determine what sparked the blaze. The park remains closed.

Officials issued a statewide outdoor burning ban Monday, citing dry conditions across the state.

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              Smoke lingers from the wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park, in Pinnacle, N.C., that caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)
            
              Fire burns along the western ridge of Pilot Mountain, Monday evening, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolina. The fire, which was reported to have started Saturday night, has burned more than 500 acres as of Monday night and is expected to burn 900 as foresters set back fires to protect houses below the mountain. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)
            
              Fire burns along the lower sections of Pilot Mountain, late Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolina. The fire, which was reported to have started Saturday night, has burned more than 500 acres as of Monday night and is expected to burn 900 as foresters set back fires to protect houses below the mountain. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)
            The wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) A firefighter with the North Carolina Forest Service sprays remaining hot spots from the wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park that caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) The wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) Most of the structures and fences at Pilot Mountain State Park remain standing after the wildfire caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) Smoke lingers from the wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park, in Pinnacle, N.C., that caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) Some of the damage is seen along the Grassy Ridge Trail from the wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park which caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) A burnt tree is seen from the wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park that caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at Pilot Mountain State Park in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) Smoke lingers from the wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park that caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at Pilot Mountain State Park in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) Most of the structures and fences at Pilot Mountain State Park remain standing after the wildfire caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at Pilot Mountain State Park in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) Smoke from the Pilot Mountain State Park wildfire is reflected in a private pond east of the park at sunset, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolina. The fire, which was reported to have started Saturday, has burned more than 500 acres as of Monday night and is expected to burn more as foresters set back fires to protect houses below the mountain. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP) The setting sun illuminates plumes of smoke from Pilot Mountain State Park, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolina. The fire, which was reported to have started Saturday night, has burned more than 500 acres as of Monday night. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

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Wildfire continues to burn at a North Carolina state park