Banner Elk Fire Department, Linville Fire Department and Beech Mountain Fire Department joined with local NCFS and Watauga’s Shawneehaw Fire Department last Sunday, Nov. 11, to control a brushfire that burned through close to four acres along a mountaintop in Banner Elk, and threatened several homes in Crooked Creek and The Farm at Banner Elk, planned communities occupying each side of the mountain. Thanks to the intervention of Avery County’s fire service, the fire damaged none of the nearby homes. According to incident commander Gary Miller, of BEFD, the call for the fire came out around 1 p.m., and firefighters had the fire under control within a couple of hours, in spite of extremely limited access along the ridge and shifting winds.
Avery County’s Strike Team, a group of volunteer firefighters from around Avery County specially trained in fighting wildfires, worked to control the blaze along with NCFS’s Avery County Ranger Joe Shoupe.
As the county ranger, it falls to Shoupe to investigate the cause of the fire in the coming days.While the cause of the fire is currently still under investigation, Avery County Fire Association President Paul Buchanan reminded anyone who burns brush to be responsible and to remain with fires at all times.