• Forestry officials plan burnout to help fight Caldwell Co. wildfire


    CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. - A wildfire in Caldwell County jumped fire lines overnight and continues to burn in some very rugged terrain north of Lenoir.

    Forestry officials said they plan to hold a burnout operation to fight the fire on Wednesday.

    They said the fire is about 25 percent contained.

    Firefighters  were given more time to build containment lines around the fire on Tuesday because of the rain, but it was not enough to put the fire out.

    Eyewitness News was with the North Carolina Forest service as they discussed options in fighting the fire nicknamed the High Eagle Fire.

    The fire is burning about 8 miles north of Lenoir across rugged terrain.

    Cathy Triplett, who lives nearby, is keeping a close eye on the fire both day and night.

    "We've been watching it. It is getting closer to the house. It was real big last night. Smoke just a -boiling," said Triplett.

    Overnight the fire jumped the fire lines firefighters built on the mountainside on Monday.

    By lunchtime Tuesday the fire had grown in size to more than 60 acres and firefighters expect it to double once things dry out.

    Firefighters dug in Tuesday cutting a new line and hope to set a backfire sometime Wednesday.

    That fire will blacken an area ahead of the wildfire allowing firefighters to bring it under control but it is tough work.

    "It is extremely rough, rugged terrain rocks, laurel thickets. We were able to use some old roads that have been in there for years but it is just tough terrain to be working in," said Rusty Dellinger from the North Carolina Forest Service.

    Firefighters said they still don't know what started the fire.

    Firefighters welcomed light rain and said it has not rained in this area for several weeks.

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