Wet weather aids fight on Table Rock fire

Nov. 17, 2013 @ 08:45 AM

A wet Saturday helped firefighters combat a forest fire near Table Rock, and expected rain Sunday should do more, but the wildfire had grown Friday to emcompass 2,700 acres.

The fire remained about 40 percent contained through Saturday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

"Even though recent rains have assisted firefighters in their suppression efforts, this wildfire is definitely not out," Deputy Incident Commander Steve Little said in a press release.

Saturday's suppression efforts were focused on creating burn-outs -- areas where small fires are set to burn potential fuel before the wildfire arrives, in hopes that the fire's advance then stalls -- along the fire's south flank, said an update from the U.S. Forest Service.

While the cause is still under investigation, officials believe the fire began at the Table Rock Picnic area on Veterans Day, and investigators are trying to reach a group that was camping in the area. A reward may be offered for substantial information, and anyone with information should contact Jason Crisp at 828-442-2470 or the Grandfather Ranger District at 828-652-2144.

The fire breached containment lines at Chimney Gap on Friday, but no homes or structures are threatened by the fire.

The fire moved across containment lines Friday and sprouted a 40-acre spot fire that two helicopters dropped water on most of the day, and another helicopter was ordered to assist, which can drop 1,000 gallons at a time. More than 100 fire fighters are assisting with the efforts.