Two fires break out on mountain range in Burke County

VALDESE, N.C. — Firefighting crews from across Burke County met in Valdese to battle two fires raging on the mountain range.

Burke County 911 issued an alert for Mineral Springs Mountain around 3:30 p.m. Saturday warning residents of the fires.

The Chesterfield Fire Rescue shared these pictures of the smoke on the mountain:

One of the fires was controlled by 4:30 p.m. and the other was getting close to containment, according to the county fire marshal who spoke to our newsgathering partners at The Morganton Herald.

Every fire department in the county responded to the fires because of the threat to homes on the mountain, according to a social media post by Burke County 911.

The N.C. Forest Service sent several low-flying aircraft, including air tankers and helicopters, to assist.

When The Morganton Herald talked to Burke County Fire Marshal Mike Willis Saturday afternoon, he said the estimated area burned was around 5 to 6 acres.

No evacuation was ordered, and residents were told to communicate with fire crews if they wanted to leave. Leaving without alerting the crews can risk the lives of firefighters.

A burn ban remains in effect and all open burning is prohibited. Those violating the ban can be fined by the North Carolina Forest Service and The Burke County Fire Marshall.

County fire officials have been pleading with people not to burn due to drought conditions. Open burning combined with the winds can cause a fire to grow out of control and become a fast-moving wildfire.

Channel 9 asked the N.C. Forest Service and Burke County Emergency Management what caused the fire, how long for both fires to be controlled, and the total amount of land burned.

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