By Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2020

HAMPTON, Tenn. (AP) - Fire crews are battling rugged terrain and extreme heat as they take on a small wildfire on a remote mountain slope in East Tennessee, officials said.

U.S. forestry officials said Wednesday the fire on Little Pond Mountain near Watauga Lake in Cherokee National Forest has burned 5 acres.

Crews have built indirect fire lines to try to stop the blaze, located about 7 miles south of Hampton in Carter County.

Smoke may be visible from the lake and surrounding communities, but no structures were threatened, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service spokesman Drew Mickolay said Wednesday. There are several houses and a few restaurants on the road around Watauga Lake, with the closest located about 1 1/2 miles from the fire, Mickolay said.

A helicopter, a bulldozer and a 40-person crew from the North Carolina State Forest Service have been assigned to the fire, officials said.



Lightning caused the fire, Mickolay said. It was first reported Saturday to the Forest Service.

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