By Kari Barrows
SURRY COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — Fire officials and park rangers rushed to the scene of a raging forest fire on Pilot Mountain Saturday evening. All access to the state park 20 miles northwest of Winston-Salem has been closed until further notice.
Officials with Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department posted on social media that approximately 50 men and women responded to the fire last night. Around 11:49 p.m., all firefighters had been demobilized for the night, with NC Forest Service officials and Pilot Mountain State Park staff remaining on scene with the fire through the night.
Pilot Knob officials said the campground at the park was evacuated without any injuries or damages.
It is still unknown what exactly sparked the fire.
North Carolina State Parks and Recreation reports as of 11:52 a.m. Sunday, the forest fire has burned nearly 180 acres of Pilot Mountain State Park. Park officials urge people to not use drones over the park at this time as they could interfere with fire fighting aircraft.
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the organization that brings volunteers together to maintain the 1,000+ mile trail across North Carolina, posted on social media about the fire as well, saying the Mountains-to-Sea Trail Segment 7 inside the state park was closed off at the moment.
Officials with Shoals Volunteer Fire Department urged people in the area to be mindful of responding agencies. They remind people to no stop in the middle of the road and take pictures during this time.
The forest fire in the northern part of North Carolina comes five years after a devastating fire tore through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Officials are warning of high fire danger at the moment due to dry conditions.
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