ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — Wildfires encompassing more than 3,300 acres continue to burn across western North Carolina as the region awaits a break in the recent run of dry weather.
Local media outlets report the latest fire erupted Saturday above Party Rock in Lake Lure. Firefighters from the N.C. Forest Service are battling the blaze, which is estimated to be 60 acres.
A burn ban is in effect for the town of Lake Lure.
Crews are also fighting a 30-acre fire on Rumbling Bald Mountain since Saturday. The Rumbling Bald Climbing Access Area of Chimney Rock State Park remains closed as a result.
Fires also continue to burn in the Nantahala National Forest, leading to emergency closures, including the Appalachian Trail, which is now closed from Rock Gap to the Nantahala River.
One of the largest fires is 1,115 acres at Tellico, northwest of Franklin in the Nantahala Mountains, according to the U.S. Park Service.
The largest fire of 1,600 acres is at Boteler, Boteler Peak near Hayesville, the park service said. The Boteler fire is only 10 percent contained as of Sunday, officials said.
Meanwhile, 14 state parks in western North Carolina have placed temporary bans on campfires, according to a statement from North Carolina State Parks.
Campfire bans are in effect at Chimney Rock, Crowders Mountain, Elk Knob, Gorges, Grandfather Mountain, Hanging Rock, Lake James, Lake Norman, Mount Mitchell, Morrow Mountain, New River (including Mount Jefferson State Natural Area), Pilot Mountain, South Mountains and Stone Mountain state parks, the agency said.
Cooking fires using propane and other approved camp stove fuels are allowed in designated areas.