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Dilly Cliff fire in North Woodstock burns on into its sixth day

Sunday News Correspondent

October 08. 2017 1:21AM
A hand-made sign outside the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves on Route 112 in North Woodstock offers gratitude Saturday to the public from the many men and women who since Oct. 3 have fought a fire on Dilly Cliff. (John Koziol/Sunday News Correspondent)

NORTH WOODSTOCK - As it enters its sixth day Sunday, the Dilly Cliff fire, which has burned about 70 acres, has yet to be contained.

On Saturday afternoon, light rain showers and high humidity helped put a damper on the fire but made footing treacherous on the cliff's steep slopes.

"It's not really growing," said Dee Hines, public information officer for the Dilly Fire Team, but it's not secured, and "it still has potential."

The Fire Team is made up of representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and the state Division of Forest and Lands. The fire is burning across from the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves on Route 112 and has scorched some of the White Mountain National Forest.

Within half an hour of the rain starting, the two teams of 20 firefighters from local, state and federal agencies were ordered off the cliff, said Woodstock Fire Chief John MacKay.

Using hand tools, the firefighters had been extending containment lines and cutting down larger trees, reducing fuel for the fire. Earlier in the day, before the weather came into Kinsman Notch, a helicopter from JBI Helicopters dumped water on the flames. Last week, first one, then two New Hampshire National Guard Black Hawks were used for water drops.

In a significant development, firefighters were able Saturday to run a fire hose up the east side of the fire; also rain is expected in the North Woodstock area Sunday and Monday.

Reported at 6 a.m. on Oct. 3, the fire has caused only minor injuries to firefighters and it has not threatened any structures at the Lost River Gorge.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation but not believed to be suspicious, However, the fire did result in the closure of both the popular tourist attraction as well as hiking trails that run through Dilly Cliff and later intersect with the Appalachian Trail in the National Forest.

General News Fires North Woodstock

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