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North Carolina Pilot Mountain Fire grows to 180 acres

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A wildfire burning at a North Carolina state park forced the park to close on Sunday as it neared 200 acres.

Pilot Mountain State Park will be closed "likely all week" as a fire burning within the park grew to 180 acres on Sunday, North Carolina State Parks announced on Twitter.

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"Please stay away from the area. Do not use drones over the park to photograph -- they could interfere with fire fighting aircraft," officials said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's office tweeted that it has been in communication with local officials regarding the fire response.

"The governor appreciates the tireless work of firefighters, the Forest Service and others to keep people safe," his office said.

About 30 firefighters with the forest service and the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation responded to the scene.

"Right now there's pretty much fire all around the top of the mountain basically," said Jimmy Holt, Guilford County ranger for the N.C. Forest Service. "It's dry, windy conditions. We haven't had significant rainfall in several weeks so suppression is difficult."

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The blaze has not been contained, but remains confined to state-owned property, Holt added.

"We plan on holding the fire to the mountain," he said.

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