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May 19, 2024

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Truck Wreck Ignites Wildfire on I-40

Early on Thursday morning, a tractor-trailer accident ignited a blaze in the Pigeon River Gorge, disrupting traffic along I-40.

Currently spanning over 40 acres and rapidly spreading, the fire is causing visibility issues on the interstate, as noted by North Carolina State Highway Patrol First Sgt. Brent Hipp.

The fire’s movement is directed towards the Appalachian Trail, veering away from the interstate. Haywood County Emergency Services Public Information Officer Allison Richmond mentioned that efforts are underway to warn hikers of the imminent fire threat.

Emergency services strongly advise hikers to steer clear of the area. For those already present, an urgent call to evacuate has been issued.

Combatting the fire is the ongoing mission of the North Carolina Forest Service, with support from the United States Forest Service. An air tanker and helicopter are presently engaged, while additional firefighters are en route to the scene.

Fueled by dry and light materials, the fire remains notably active and is yet to be contained, as confirmed by the US Forest Service.

The accident happened close to 8 a.m., approximately 3.5 miles from the state line.

In response, state troopers have shut down Cold Springs Creek Road and one end of Max Patch Road, near exit 7, to deter individuals from approaching the fire’s vicinity.

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