After fire’s containment, NC state park reopening to public

The wildfire at Pilot Mountain State Park caused damage to over 1,000 acres by Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Pinnacle, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

Nearly all of a northwestern North Carolina state park is reopening after a wildfire burned over 1,000 acres before it was contained earlier this month. 

The Yadkin River section of Pilot Mountain State Park reopened Saturday. Most of the rest of the park will be accessible to visitors starting Monday, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

The Pinnacle Trail will remain closed until a protective fence damaged by the fire can be rebuilt, North Carolina State Parks spokeswoman Katie Hall said. 

The fire began Thanksgiving weekend due to an escaped campfire and ultimately covered about half of the park, officials said. 

The N.C. Forest Service reported the fire was fully contained on Dec. 4, but firefighters remained onsite to remove dead trees that could fuel flare-ups. Park workers are now managing the remnants.

“There are a few smoldering spots that our staff is still monitoring,” Hall said. It has cost $513,000 to fight the fire, according to a report from the National Interagency Coordination Center.

The park is known for its iconic knob that rises about 1,500 feet (450 meters) above the surrounding terrain.

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