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Lake Lure fire update: 977 acres, edging into Buncombe, U.S. 64/74A and N.C. 9 closed

Photos from Bald Mountain Road in Buncombe County. Four homes on this road have been warned to prepare now for evacuation. Smoke indicates the Party Rock Fire has made its way to the Buncombe County Line. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

(UPDATE 9:45 p.m.): Authorities advise residents in the Bat Cave Community that the Party Rock fire has been reported a quarter of a mile from the Shumont Road area (off NC Highway 9).

Henderson County Sheriff's Office say evacuations are not currently mandatory, but if ordered, authorities say to not delay.

Shelters are located at:

  1. Bills Creek Baptist Church - 1475 Bills Creek Rd, Lake Lure, NC 28746 (828) 625-4956
  2. Greenhill Baptist Church - 1941 US 64-74A Hwy, Rutherfordton, NC 28139 (828) 287-2170

The sheriff's office also offers these safety tips:

  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
  • Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.

UPDATE: The wildfire beside Lake Lure has forced the closing of U.S. 64/74A and N.C. 9 in Rutherford County.

A seven-mile stretch of road between the intersection of N.C. 9 and U.S. 64/74A — which lead to the lake and Chimney Rock State Park — will be closed to all traffic except emergency personnel until officials deem the area safe for residents and visitors.

A 48-mile detour around the fire to Bat Cave, N.C. has been established by transportation officials. Westbound traffic from the Rutherfordton direction is being detoured on the following route: Left on N.C. 9, Right on N.C. 108 in Mill Spring, right on U.S. 74 West, right on I-26 West, right on U.S. 64 in Hendersonville to Bat Cave.

Eastbound traffic will follow that route in reverse.

Transportation officials remind motorists that wildfires create smoke that can quickly reduce visibility. Motorists are advised to slow down, obey all posted signs and add extra time into upcoming plans.

For real-time travel information, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

LAKE LURE, N.C. -- As of 11 a.m. Friday, the North Carolina Forest Service reports that the Party Rock fire in Lake Lure is now 977 acres, and has edged into Buncombe County.

The Party Rock fire is 15 percent contained.

Aircraft are out Friday dropping water and fire retardant.

Other than some some voluntary evacuations in the Shumont Road area of Buncombe County, there are no new evacuations on Friday.

Quail Ridge and Huntington Road were mandatory evacuation areas earlier this week.

Dave and Kay Ludwick watched the fire from their home, and started packing a few days ago. With news Monday that the fire is spreading their way, they decided it was time to go.

As hard as it is to leave the home they built together, their biggest concern is their safety.

Without knowing when the fire could get even closer, they don't want to chance it for fear the fire may spread faster than an evacuation notice.

"Shumont is the main road. A lot of folks are in worse shape than we are, they're way up in the woods and if I felt confident that we would get enough warning, we'd probably stay here but we're just not sure word is going to get spread because we're in the middle of nowhere. Word doesn't spread very fast out here," said Dave Ludwick.

The Ludwicks also took proper measures to move gas cans and flammable materials away from their home.

Fire officials say to also remove leaves from rooftops, gutters and your yard to further protect it.

Updates from the Forest Service about fires burning in North Caroline are available here.

People who wish to assist with items for fire and emergency crews assisting with the fire that is burning from Lake Lure into Buncombe County.

Needed items like bottled water, Gatorade, crackers, energy/protein bars, and saline eye drops can be delivered to the main station at 1586 Charlotte Highway.


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