Escaped campfire blamed for Pilot Mountain blaze

Fire burns along the lower sections of Pilot Mountain, late Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in North Carolina. The fire, which was reported to have started Saturday night, has burned more than 500 acres as of Monday night and is expected to burn 900 as foresters set back fires to protect houses below the mountain. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

PILOT MOUNTAIN — A wildfire at North Carolina’s Pilot Mountain State Park was caused by an escaped campfire in an undesignated area, officials said.

The fire that has burned 1,050 acres was about 50% contained Wednesday evening, according to the North Carolina Forest Service.

The fire remains within containment lines and minimal fire activity with scattered smoldering was observed Wednesday, officials said. About 87 firefighting personnel from the North Carolina Forest Service and North Carolina State Parks are involved in the effort.

The park, northwest of Winston-Salem, is known for its iconic knob that rises about 1,500 feet above the surrounding terrain. The park remains closed.

Officials issued a statewide outdoor burning ban Monday, citing dry conditions across the state.