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North Carolina Forest Service and Division of Parks and Recreation officials have declared the Pilot Mountain State Park fire is 100% contained. Crews continued rehabilitation work on fire breaks Wednesday (Nov. 14) at Pilot Mountain State Park as well as an ongoing assessment of roads and trails for safety hazards.
“The emphasis is on rehabilitating the fire lines,” commented North Carolina Forest Service spokesman David Brown. “We have been putting in drainage structures to stop soil erosion and generally stabilizing fire lines and smoothing things up. It’s looking a whole lot better.”
Late Wednesday the fire, which has ranged over a 675-acre area, was reported 98% contained. Only the Yadkin River Section and Carter Trail or Corridor Trail area of the park remain open. A total of 54 personnel, two bulldozers, two engines and some utility vehicles were used Wednesday as firefighters continued to patrol firebreaks looking for any remaining hot spots.
“I was hopeful we’d be able to call it 100% contained by the end of the day (Wednesday),” added Brown. “We are winding things down and closing up the paper work. We anticipated releasing some crews to return to their home areas and scaling back those at the site.”
Other officials sounded equally positive in their news regarding the incident which began when a prescribed, controlled burn jumped containment lines.
“We’ve started to access hazards we can see and although it may be too optimistic, I’m hopeful we will be able to begin opening the park in stages by Thanksgiving weekend,” said North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation spokesperson Charlie Peek.
From The Associated Press:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday (Nov. 15) that while the cost of the damage to Connecticut businesses, homes and public properties from last month’s superstorm is an estimated $360 million and climbing, it doesn’t amount to “a long-term hit to our economy.”
Malloy told The Associated Press that bridges, airports, beaches, boardwalks, and state parks suffered “very substantial damage” from the Oct. 29 storm, and he wouldn’t be surprised if the cost to repair public infrastructure runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
But “We didn’t experience a catastrophic long-term hit to our economy,” the governor said. “I think the storm for us was a series of personal tragedies playing out in families, but its overall impact on the economy is, I think, manageable.”
Connecticut suffered more than $1 billion in damage combined from Sandy, Irene last year, and an October 2011 storm, Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba said.
Most of the damage to homes and businesses from Superstorm Sandy involves private insurance claims. The figure also includes claims to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and costs incurred by state agencies, municipalities and certain nonprofits, officials said.
Earlier this week, FEMA reported that more than 7,270 property owners in the state have applied for assistance, including 6,000 along the shoreline. About $4 million in federal funding has been awarded to residents affected by the storm, mostly for temporary housing costs.