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Fire burns thousands of acres in Cherokee

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A fire that had burned more than 3,000 acres on the Cherokee Indian Reservation as of late Tuesday started when sparks from a downed power pole ignited the forest in the Big Cove Community, officials and residents said. Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians firefighters along with crews from Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties worked throughout the day Tuesday to protect homes from the blaze with hand-cleared fire lines, pumper trucks and back burns. Crews from the U.S. Forest Service were also working the fire.