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Campfire ban in effect at western North Carolina State Parks

RALEIGH – Due to an extremely high risk of wildfire, 14 state parks in western North Carolina have placed temporary bans on campfires, according to North Carolina State Parks. Restrictions on campfires and cooking fires could be expanded to other parks on short notice, depending on local conditions.

Wildfires of less than 100 acres have erupted at Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County and South Mountains State Park in Burke County, and extremely dry conditions at all western state parks present a wildfire risk. Backcountry trails and campsites at South Mountains have been closed. Rangers from other areas of the state are joining firefighters from the North Carolina Forest Service and other agencies at Chimney Rock and South Mountains.

Campfire bans are in effect at Chimney Rock, Crowders Mountain, Elk Knob, Gorges, Grandfather Mountain, Hanging Rock, Lake James, Lake Norman, Mount Mitchell, Morrow Mountain, New River (including Mount Jefferson State Natural Area), Pilot Mountain, South Mountains and Stone Mountain state parks. Cooking fires using propane and other approved camp stove fuels are allowed in designated areas.

Campers and picnickers throughout the state parks system should be extremely careful with campfires and cooking fires. Use only designated areas for fires, do not leave fires unattended and use extra care to extinguish fires before leaving a campsite or picnic area.

Before visiting a state park for camping or picnicking, check that park’s page on the North Carolina State Parks website www.ncparks.gov for fire restrictions that may be in place.

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