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Fire Damages Historic Catawba County Campground

A fire erupts at Balls Creek Campground

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Forty wooden tents were destroyed and nine others damaged by fire late Sunday night at a historic campground in Catawba County.

Balls Creek Campground is asking people to stay away from the site until investigators have finished working. The campground, which dates to the 1850s, was established as a meeting site for yearly Methodist camp-meeting revivals. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.

At last 14 fire departments responded to the blaze, according to Catawba County Emergency Services. No injuries were reported. The fire started before 9:40 p.m. Sunday and was under control about 1:20 a.m. Monday.

As of early Monday morning, it wasn't clear what started the fire. Balls Creek Campground is located off Buffalo Shoals Road in Catawba.

There are 295 tents — which look like small cabins — at the site and 303 structures total, including common areas, according to the county.

Local, state and federal authorities are investigating.