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Party Rock fire grows to 5,700 acres

Map shows the Party Rock wildfire in the norheastern tip of Henderson County. Map shows the Party Rock wildfire in the norheastern tip of Henderson County.

The Party Rock Fire grew to 5,714 acres and remained just 19 percent contained on Thursday.

Firefighters continue to secure containment lines and conduct burnout operations on the Party Rock Fire in advance of a strong cold weather front that will move through the area this weekend, the Henderson County sheriff's office said.

Burnout operations were completed on the northern containment line along Rolling Ridge Road in Gray Rock. A helicopter capable of delivering large water drops supported the operation to ensure the burnout did not cross containment lines. The dozer containment line installed on the easternmost side was used to support burnout operations that occurred overnight. The northern half of the eastern containment line was successfully burned out, and today’s operations will continue.

Farther south, hand lines are being established and improved between the active fire perimeter and the communities of Rumbling Bald Resort. North of the Gray Rock containment line, residents in the neighborhoods of Camp Elliot, Ditney Knob, Sally Gap, Three Creeks and Earth Haven will see more smoke as burnout operations continue. The established containment is in place to protect these communities; however, residents located to the north of the fire should monitor information about the fire during the forecasted wind event.

A stretch of Highway 74-A leading into Chimney Rock Village from the north and south remains closed. Highway 9 was closed yesterday from the intersection at Highway 74-A in Bat Cave north to Shumont Road.