Rain in the forecast will help firefighters, battling fires in McDowell County.
Locust Cove Fire No. 2 was reported about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, near N.C. 80, also known as Buck Creek Road, in the Sunnyvale area of McDowell County.
The fire has burned over 130 acres and it’s zero percent contained.
The U.S. Forest Service began burnout operations Thursday to reduce fuels and protect private lands and homes adjacent to the wildfire. The increased acreage is primarily because of burnout operations.
Investigators said the cause of the fire is still unknown. It is burning near Locust Cove Road within the fire scar of the first Locust Cove wildfire that burned over a larger area in March 2023.
Forest officials said the fire intensity is low and more than 60 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and the N.C. Forest Service are working to clear existing fire lines.
Smoke has drifted toward Marion and may continue to affect the area, depending on wind direction. The U.S. Forest Service is working with the McDowell County Emergency Operations Center to place signs along N.C. 80 to warn the public about smoke.
Travelers are urged to be careful because firefighters are working in the area and smoke is possible.
Meanwhile, emergency crews are also working to contain a wildfire burning in the area of Clear Creek Road in Pleasant Gardens.