ASHEBORO, NC - U.S. Forest Service officials say a fire in the Uwharrie National Forest is now 100 percent contained, but work remains to fully extinguish some areas.

Containment lines are holding well. Smoke will still be visible for the next few days until interior pockets of the fire burn out or are extinguished. Firefighters held the fire to 73 acres.

Many firefighters who battled the fire will conclude operations today. More than 30 firefighters from the Forest Service and other agencies fought the fire, located about 5-6 miles from the southwest edge of the city of Asheboro. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire was first reported around 7 p.m. on Feb. 11. Eighty percent of the fire was in the Birkhead Mountains Wilderness area of the national forest. Twenty percent was on private land.

The Birkhead Wilderness area (including all trails) remains closed to visitors until the Forest Service deems it safe to return. People who wish to visit the wilderness area should contact the Uwharrie District Ranger office at 910-576-6391 if they plan to hike the trails this weekend.

Media contact: Deborah Walker, Uwharrie district ranger, 910-975-0803.