Man dies battling wildfire in

Man dies battling wildfire in Mitchell

03 April 2010

published by  www.citizen-times.com


 

SPRUCE PINE — A man burning trash Friday in Mitchell County suffered a medical condition and died after the flames got out of control and he tried to put out the blaze.

Few details about the incident were available late Friday. It happened about noon in the Spruce Pine area, an emergency dispatcher said.

The man died as firefighters arrived on the scene, said Dave Walker, district ranger for the N.C. Division of Forest Resources Asheville office.

That blaze was one of 12 wildfires crews in the Asheville district battled Friday, Walker said. The fires burned a total 52.5 acres. Five of those fires happened in Buncombe County, and crews from five area fire departments remained late Friday at the scene of a wildfire near Simms Trail in Swannanoa.

That fire had scorched about 10 acres as of about 11 p.m. Friday, Walker said. It was between 20-30 percent contained.

“It’s in rocks it’s in very steep country where we’re not sure we can safely engage this fire tonight,” Walker said, adding that crews would stay on the scene throughout the night and revaluate the blaze this morning.

Walker said that if you don’t have to burn, don’t.

“It’s awfully dry,” he said. “Let’s wait until we get some rain on the ground because we’ve had four very warm and very dry days.”


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