A wildfire in the Linville Gorge area continued to burn over the weekend. According to the Sunday (March 19) update from the U.S. Forest Service, the White Creek Fire was ten percent contained at an estimated 585 acres.
140 firefighters were on the scene yesterdayday continuing to improve firelines on the south end of the fire area to protect private property, establishing firelines on the north end, and preparing for a potential burn window on Monday that may allow for a controlled low-intensity backburn to reduce fuels and buffer firelines.
The fire is burning near Shortoff Mountain at the south end of Linville Gorge on the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. An area closure is in effect for all U.S. Forest Service lands east of State Road 1238 (Old NC 105 / Kistler Memorial Highway), south of Conley Cove Trail (Tr #229), south of Table Rock Picnic Area, west of Back Irish Creek Forest Service Road #118 (Blue Gravel Road) and Roses Creek Forest Service Road #99, north of Highway 126.
In addition, the following trails are closed: Shortoff Trail (Tr #235), Rock Jock Trail (Tr #247), Pinch-In Trail (Tr #228), Linville Gorge Trail (Tr #231) south of Conley Cove Trail (Tr #229), Mountains to Sea Trail (Tr #440) from State Road 1238 at Pinnacles to the Table Rock Picnic Area, and any social trails existing within the closure area. Public entry is prohibited within this area.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.