Containment increased slightly on both the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires on Saturday. The Maple Springs fire is now 13 percent contained - an increase of 3 percent - and the Old Roughy fire rose from 5 to 8 percent.
Conditions on Saturday allowed fire managers to use helicopters to make water drops on the southwest flank of the Maple Springs fire to keep the fire from spreading into the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness. Helicopters dumped almost 6,000 gallons of water in the area to keep that part of the fire in check. Reduced visibility due to smoke prevented fire managers from employing water-scooping aircraft on other parts of the fire Saturday.
Firefighters also began using leaf blowers and rakes to clear litter and debris in and around identified groves of trees in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness to protect them from encroaching fire.
A burn-out operation on the northwest flank of the fire along Slickrock Road was also successful and helped reinforce that contingency line. Elsewhere, firefighters are mopping up and patrolling fire edges for smoldering hot spots in stumps, logs and heavy duff.
On the Old Roughy fire, firefighters are improving, holding and patrolling containment lines. Burn-out operations were conducted along dozer lines on the northern perimeter of the fire to secure that area.
Weather over the fire on Sunday will be similar to Saturday, with cooler temperatures and light winds. No rain is forecast over the fire area but relative humidity is expected to increase slightly overnight Sunday, which should help reduce fire behavior.
Additional resources from around the country are arriving in the form of engines, crews and aircraft to aid suppression efforts. The total number of personnel assigned to the fires is 372, up from 300 the previous day. Currently 25 engines are working on the fire, with engines arriving from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and other states. In addition there are eight crews working on the fire, totaling more than 130 personnel.
Highway 29 on the east side of the fire continues to be impacted by smoke and detours remain in place in two areas due to falling trees but the fire remains west of the road is not threatening to cross the road. The public is asked to be cautious around firefighting activity along Highway 129 and other local roads in the area to provide a safe environment for firefighters to do their jobs.
Maple Springs Fire - 6,822 acres
Old Roughy Fire - 657 acres
Call 828-479-7985 for up to date information
Maple Springs 13% contained
Old Roughy 8% contained
North of Lake Santeetlah
11/04/16 Maple Springs
11/08/16 Old Roughy
Cause to be determined.
Type 2 Blue Team
Burn ban in effect:
Air Quality Reports:
Incident Information: http//inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5090
Fire Information Phone Line: 828-407-0653
Both the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires continued to grow in size slightly Friday due to receptive fuels and windy conditions. The Maple Springs Fire increased approximately 800 acres and the Old Roughy Fire grew by about 120 acres.
More firefighting and aircraft resources have arrived in the last two days, allowing fire managers to increase efforts building and reinforcing containment lines. Firefighters continue to mop up and patrol the fire edges in and around structures while also conducting burn-out operations where applicable to deprive the fires the fuel they need to spread.
A successful burn-out operation was completed on the southeast flank of the Old Roughy Fire on Friday to secure containment lines and greatly reduce the threat to structures in that area. Burn outs were also used Friday to reinforce the northwestern flank of the Maple Springs Fire.
The fire along Highway 129 on the northeastern side of the fire continues to hold west of the road and is not threatening to cross the road at any point. Detours remain in place in two areas along Highway 129 due to falling trees and the potential for snags. The public is asked to be aware of firefighting activity along Highway 129 and other local roads in the area. Please slow down and drive with added caution to provide a safe environment for firefighters to do their jobs.
When weather and smoke conditions allow, fire managers will use water-scooping aircraft today to secure containment lines protecting the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness on the southwest edge of the Maple Springs Fire. Firefighters are also prepping Big Santeetlah Road to the south of the wilderness as a potential control line. The Wilderness is one of the “few remaining tracts of virgin hardwood in the Appalachians.” Fire managers have worked closely with the U.S. Forest Service to create a plan to protect the wilderness area. Firefighters will be using leaf blowers and rakes to clear litter and debris in and around identified groves of trees. Removing litter on the forest floor will lower surface fire intensity around those trees.
A cold front that moved through the area on Friday will be replaced by a high pressure system that is expected to bring sunnier, warmer conditions in the next few days, with temperatures expected to approach 60 degrees. Winds will be lighter but still factor into the potential for fire spread.
North Carolina is experiencing unprecedented fire behavior. The large number of wildfires in the region are stressing the availability of local resources and creating the need to bring in additional firefighters and incident management teams from around the country.
Maple Springs Fire
Old Roughy Fire
Call 828-479-7985 for up
to date information
Maple springs 10% contained
Old Roughy 5% contained
North of Lake Santeetlah
11/04/16 Maple Springs
11/08/16 Old Roughy
Cause to be determined.
Type 2 Blue Team
Burn ban in effect:
Air Quality Reports:
Update: 3 - Saturday, November 12, 2016 - 9:00 AM
Incident size: 733 acres
Current Situation: 60% contained
Number of personnel: 167
The Southern Area Blue Team continues to provide management of the Eastern Cherokee Complex Fire. Completion of a fireline and a burnout (fuel consumption along the constructed perimeter) occurred yesterday on the Dobson-3 Fire, the largest in the complex. Operations today will focus on holding that line and mopping up.
One additional Type-2 Initial Attack 20 person crew joined the operational forces today, and one additional crew was added yesterday. Crews will be especially focused on snags that have burned and dropping those that threaten the line or are safety concerns to the firefighters. There are 14 fires currently being managed within the Cherokee Nation totaling 733 acres.
Exceptional drought conditions across the interior southern United States, along with high winds and warm daytime temperatures, are drying forest fuels and making it difficult to extinguish the fires. A dry cold front has pushed into western North Carolina, pushing overnight temperatures into the 20’s. Wind gusts up to 15 mph expected on the ridgelines today. Prevailing winds will shift today and begin to test the lines already established. Crews will again expect extreme fire behavior, particularly on steep slopes.
Local residents are reminded to stay indoors if they have respiratory problems, as smoke conditions are still rated only fair to poor.
All of the fires currently burning are under investigation by local law enforcement. Thirty fires have burned within the Qualla Boundary since October. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is seeking information regarding arson fires on Indian Lands through the WeTip Program. Up to $10,000 is being offered through this anonymous program. WeTip can be contacted through their website: www.wetip.com, or by calling their hotline at 1-800-47-ARSON.
GRAHAM COUNTY, NC - Firefighters on the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires took advantage of improved weather conditions using helicopters to drop buckets of water suppressing hot spots and reinforcing firelines. The fires continue to slowly burn through leaf litter and plant growth on the forest floor. Forested areas receiving more sunlight and taller grasses are burning with greater intensity and longer flame lengths creating spot fires a short distance ahead of the fire.
Firefighters are continuing to mop up and patrol the fires edges in and around structures. Heavy smoke continues to impact Highway 129 and local communities. Excellent work by firefighters is greatly reducing the potential for damage to structures on the east side of the Old Roughy fire.
Because of the hard work by firefighters, local emergency managers are working with fire officials to identify when evacuees can safely return home. Evacuations will continue until threats to public safety have been reduced. Residents are reminded that the fire is still actively burning in the areas evacuated and many hazards exist.
Tomorrow lighter winds, higher humidity and cooler temperatures should aid firefighters in their suppression efforts. However, these fires are topography driven, meaning the terrain assists in fire growth. Fire behavior will be similar to today on account of the dry fuels. An area of high pressure is predicted to move over the fires this weekend and no significant precipitation is expected.
The Maple Springs fire is burning in close proximity to the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness. The Wilderness is one of the “few remaining tracts of virgin hardwood in the Appalachians.” Fire managers have worked closely with the US Forest Service creating a plan to protect this national treasure. Firefighters using leaf blowers and rakes will clear leaf litter and debris in and around identified groves of trees. Removing the litter can lower surface fire intensity in and next to these trees.
Tactics used by firefighters when appropriate are burn out operations. A burn out operation sets fire along control lines to consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line. This tactic is used to remove unburned fuels inside control lines and also to move fire carefully though and around values at risk. Burn out operations have been successfully completed on the fires to secure control lines and protect values at risk.
My name is Teresa Choplin as some of you may know. My husband Charles Choplin is the Cherokee County Ranger with the NC Forest Service.
I contacted Tim Radford at WKRK about getting the word out about donations for the NC Forest Service last Friday evening, Nov 4th. As soon as Tim shared my request on Facebook, the response was overwhelming!!
Saturday morning my husband could not believe the amount of items that had already started showing up at his office located behind TCCC. We were not only able to provide Cherokee and Clay county with needed items, but our entire NC Forest Service district, which includes... Swain, Haywood, Jackson, Graham, Macon, Clay and Cherokee county with ample amount of supplies.
I personally have been delivering items after I get off of work to these counties and I'd just like to say that each county is grateful and in disbelief at the generosity of our small mountain town.
Every County Ranger within these counties has asked me to please let our community know how much these items were needed and as much as they'd like to personally thank each and everyone, with these conditions and fires burning, there's just no way to do such a task.
So on behalf of the NC Forest Service, my husband Charles Choplin and District 9, we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I've had the opportunity to meet many of the people as they brought in donations from themselves, their businesses and local churches.
These men and women, wildland firefighters have had homemade hot cooked meals delivered and also had the opportunity to meet many of you as well.
You guys have done such an amazing job with donations that we are good and covered for now... if you have items already please bring them on over... but I will keep Tim updated if the need arises again for more items.
Charles and I are from eastern NC, but have been so blessed by this community and we are at home. I thank you all personally for helping us by welcoming us to your county.
Thank you again for everything you've done and may God bless each one of those who jumped right in to donate!!!
November 11, 2016 2:30 p.m.
Yesterday, most of the fires grew very little during the day. However, the Boteler, Tellico, and Ferebee Fires did have significant growth, producing significant smoke. Smoke from other fires to the northwest also blanketed the area. Although the widespread smoke was very unpleasant for local residents and visitors, it did provide firefighters an opportunity to make significant progress on the fires that pose the greatest threat to homes and other structures. The smoke reduced fire behavior and intensity, allowing crews to construct more fireline, complete defensive burning operations around many structures, and mop up along existing containment lines.
Last night, the relative humidity dropped to historic lows, allowing the fires to remain active through the night. On the west side of the Tellico Fire, the fire made a run up Paint Mountain and down into the East Silver Mine and Grant neighborhoods. However, crews working the night shift successfully protected structures, and no residences were burned.
Resources assigned to these fires include 7 crews, 6 helicopters, 46 engines, 9 dozers, and 3 water tenders. If the smoke clears adequately, aircraft are available and ready to assist firefighters on the ground with water and retardant drops as needed to suppress the fires and protect structures. See the individual fire narratives below for detailed information on today's planned firefighting activities.
Weather and Fire Behavior:
A local red flag warning is in effect today for gusty winds and very dry air. Northwest winds will be 7-15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph possible this afternoon. The minimum relative humidity could be as low as 20 percent on the ridgetops. The temperature will be in the low 60s today.
As the relative humidity decreases and wind speeds increase today, the fires could become more active. Most of the vegetation that is burning consists of leaves, grass, and dead trees. Hardwood leaves that have recently fallen are loosely compacted and burn readily. Mountain laurel and rhododendron are abundant in some areas, are very dry, and are also burning easily. Where this brush is present, it acts as a ladder, allowing the fire to get from leaves on the ground into the shrub crowns and spread quickly, especially up slopes.
Road Closures, Evacuations, and Shelters:
Many Facebook posts have included incorrect information on road closures. Please follow the fire's Facebook page for the most up-to-date and accurate information: facebook.com/BotelerFire
Motorists should use caution when driving roads and highways in the fire area. Trees and rocks falling onto Highway 19 in the Nantahala Gorge, low visibility due to smoke, and the presence of firefighters and equipment are driving hazards travelers may encounter.
All residents should take measures to protect their homes from wildfire, such as moving wood or debris piles away from your home or propane tanks. Sweep, rake, or blow dead leaves off roofs, gutters, and decks and away from structures. North Carolina Firewise website: www.ncfirewise.org.
On November 10, the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests implemented a total fire ban. Building, maintaining, and attending or using a fire or campfire (including charcoal-based fires in or out of grills) is not allowed anywhere on the National Forests. The updated restrictions expands those issued on October 28 to include restrictions in fee-area campgrounds.
Commercially available portable lanterns, stoves, or heating equipment that use gas or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed. http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/alerts-notices/?cid=fseprd524246
On November 7, the North Carolina Forest Service enacted a burning ban for twenty-five mountain counties, including Clay, Jackson, Macon, and Swain. The ban prohibits all open burning, regardless of whether a permit was issued. http://ncforestservice.gov/news_pubs/newsdesk_2016.htm#1107161
Tellico Fire and Ferebee Fire (Swain and Macon Counties): Tellico was very active last night, advancing north up and over Paint Mountain. It is naturally wanting to merge with Ferebee, so fire managers are doing everything they can to make that happen on their terms. Structure-protection crews are working in the Queens Lake, Partridge Creek, Otter Creek, East Silver Mine, and other communities beteween Tellico and Ferebee as other firefighters conduct strategic burning operations to intentionally bring the two fires together on the north side along Wesser Creek and Gassaway Roads and on the south side along Winding Stairs Road. Firefighters and equipment from other fires that have been put into patrol status will now be working on these fires.
The Tellico Fire is now visible on the east side from Needmore Road and the Little Tennesee River. Crews and resources are providing structure protection along Tellico Road as the fire progresses south and east.
Tellico: Acreage: 6,839 Containment: 18 percent Start Date: October 23
Ferebee: Acreage: 2,061 Containment: 28 percent Start Date:November 5
Boteler Fire (Clay County): Yesterday, a hotshot crew constructed fireline in rugged terrain near Piney Creek. Air tankers and helicopters dropped water and fire retardant to create a defensive barrier on Piney Top above High Meadow. Crews completed fireline construction along Chunky Gall Trail to Tate Gap. Last night, three new fire starts were detected near Thunderstruck Brook, Tate Brook, and the north end of Fishprong Brook. Today, firefighters will improve, secure, and mop up firelines near structures along Mill Creek Road and Pounding Mills Road. They will construct dozer line and hand line from High Meadow to Pounding Mills Road. Firefighters will focus on structure protection in High Meadow south along Cold Branch road to Highway 64. They will also maintain and patrol existing lines.
Acreage: 4,767 Containment: 12 percent Start Date: October 25
Dick's Creek Fire (Jackson County): This fire is minimally active, creeping and smoldering and reburning as more leaves fall within the perimeter. Crews are protecting structures, and patrolling, mopping up, and blowing containment lines. Fire managers plan to conduct an infrared flight over this fire tonight to detect remaining areas of heat, which firefighters on the ground will locate and extinguish within 100 feet of the containment line.
Acreage: 728 Containment: 85 percent Start Date: October 23
Knob Fire (Macon County): Crews will not conduct burning operations today. They are mopping up and blowing leaves off firelines and monitoring Highway 64 for smoke and traffic. This fire continues to produce smoke as leaves continue to fall and ignite in the fire's interior. The containment lines are holding and being monitored.
Acreage: 1,130 Containment: 80 percent Start Date: November 2
Whitewater Fire (Jackson County): An engine crew is improving fireline and mopping up and patrolling existing containment lines.
Acreage: 23 Containment: 0 percent Start Date: unknown
Buck Creek Fire, Falls Fire, Grape Cove Fire, Moses Creek Fire, Jones Gap Fire, Jarrett Knob Fire, Wine Spring Fire, Mulberry Fire, Moss Knob Fire, May Fire, and Cliffside Fire: These fires are not actively growing; however, as more leaves drop from trees in the fires' interior, they have the potential to burn, producing smoke that could be visible to nearby residents. Firefighters are monitoring and patrolling these fires daily to ensure the containment lines are holding.
Maple Springs Fire, Avey Branch Fire, and Old Roughy Fire (Graham County):These fires, to the northwest, are being managed by the Rocky Mountain Blue Incident Management Team. Call 828-407-0653 or email email@example.com for information.
Overnight firefighters patrolled fire edges and continued monitoring for growth near structures. As fire moves closer to homes, crews are using tactics to minimize flame length through fuel reduction and removal. Properties are evaluated and firelines built in areas with the highest probability for success in stopping the fire’s advance near the values at risk. These efforts create opportunities to suppress the fire’s edges. As the fire’s edges are put out crews will work further into the burn area and extinguish any hot spots or pockets of burning vegetation within the perimeter.
Structure protection continues to be a priority for firefighters on the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires today. Additional bulldozer and hand line construction and improving existing control lines are occurring across both fires. If smoke conditions allow, helicopters will be used to cool hot spots in support of firefighters on the ground.
Smoke is predicted to start moving out of the area this morning as temperatures begin to rise. Today’s predicted weather with a high temperature of 58 F, light northwest winds 6-12 mph and a relative humidity of 34% will provide favorable conditions for the use of helicopters over the fires.
As temperatures cool this evening the smoke may pool in the area. Concerned residents should minimize outside activities during periods of poor air quality. During low visibility drivers need to be cautious of emergency equipment working on the roads and driving slowly patrolling the area. It is common for trees and rocks to fall on and near roads during wildfires; it is advised to take it slowly and give plenty of time to react to unexpected conditions.
Incident Commander Greg Smith challenged firefighters to “be prepared for the unexpected”. His advice is good for the public as well. Use caution when driving. Take the time while you have it to blow leaves out of your gutters and away from buildings, gather emergency and evacuation kit and be prepared for the unexpected. For information on emergency and evacuation kits visit: https://www.ready.gov/kit.
Incident size: 486 acres
Current Situation: 40% contained
Number of personnel: 130
The Southern Area Blue Team continues to provide management of the Eastern Cherokee Complex Fire. One Type-1 Hotshot 20 person crew from California arrived to help with efforts to bring greater containment to the Dobson Creek 3 fire. Two additional engines arrived to help cool and contain firing operations near roads. There are 14 fires currently burning within the Cherokee Reservation totaling 486 acres.
Principal Chief Patrick Lambert declared a State of Emergency for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on Thursday morning. This declaration is synchronous with a similar declaration from North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, also made on Thursday, for a quarter of the state’s 100 counties.
Exceptional drought conditions in the Cherokee Nation, along with high winds and warm temperatures, are drying forest fuels and making it difficult to extinguish the fires. A dry cold front has pushed into western North Carolina, with wind gusts up to 22 mph expected on the ridgelines today. Crews will again expect extreme fire behavior, particularly on steep slopes.
All of the fires currently burning are under investigation by local law enforcement. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is seeking information regarding arson fires on Indian Lands through the WeTip Program. Up to $10,000 is being offered through this anonymous program. WeTip can be contacted through their website: www.wetip.com, or by calling their hotline at 1-800-47-ARSON.
November 10, 2016 3:00 p.m.
Special Notice: Public meeting scheduled for tonight at Moss Memorial Church, 5188 Tusquitee Road, Hayesville, North Carolina at 7:00 p.m.
Currently on the Nantahala National Forest in Western North Carolina, more than 565 firefighters and support staff from more than 40 states and territories are working to suppress 18 wildland fires to protect people, structures, and infrastructure. Winds are forecasted to be lighter today dropping to 5-8 mph, with gusts 10-15 mph, but the relative humidity is predicted to be lower today (18-25%), so fire behavior will continue to be critical.
Evacuations were ordered yesterday for residences along Gassaway Rd., Wesser Creek Rd., De Wessse Rd., Northern Partridge Rd., Big Dog Rd., Long Branch Rd. and Licklog Rd.
Additional crews, engines, helicopters, and air tankers continue to arrive from all across the country to help with the firefighting effort.
Tellico: Crews continued structure protection efforts. They burned out fuels in strategic burnout operations in unburned areas in between the wildfire and control lines and values at risk. One of these burnout actions was near the Tellico Trout Farm on the east side of the fire. Today, crews will work to secure structures as the fire approaches. They will hold the southern line by mopping up and patrolling. Bulldozers or hand crews will cut away and clear unburned vegetation in lines to direct the fire away from structures where needed, creating a more defensible space from the wildfire. Crews willcontinue establishing control lines to the north. They will work to secure structures as the fire moves north and east toward Needmore Road.
Acreage: 6,839 Containment: 10% Start Date: Oct.23
Closures: Appalachian Trail is closed from the Nantahala River to Burningtown Gap. Wesser Creek Trail is closed.
Ferebee: Similar to actions on the Tellico Fire, crews improved and extended hand and dozer lines yesterday. They scouted for new line locations in the gorge to secure the flanks of the fire. Crews worked to construct fire lines down to Silver Mine Creek from both sides to connect dozer lines. They worked on completing dozer lines on top of the ridge on the north side. Swain County Emergency Management called for evacuation of two residences on Silver Mine Rd. Other residents on this road were advised of possible evacuations to come. Firefighters continue scouting for areas to cut off the fire spread to the north and south. The major focus is to protect structures around Silver Mine Road, Camp Branch Road, and Queens Lake Communities.
Acreage: 2,061 Containment: 15% Start Date: Nov. 5 Closures: None
Boteler: Firefighters used leaf blowers to clear the previously constructed fire line along Nelson Ridge Road. Defensive burning operations around structures were successful. Structure assessment was conducted on the east and south sides of the fire. Winds will test the fire line again today. Firefighters will continue to construct fire line from Nelson Ridge Road towards Chunky Gal Trail. They will improve line along Pounding Mill Creek to Dark Cove. They will continue to maintain and improve existing lines. Structure protection remains a priority.
Acreage: 4,767 Containment: 10 % Start Date: 10/25 Closures: Chunky Gal Trail
Dick's Creek: A 20-acre reburn has started in the interior of the fire. This is the second time a reburn has occurred for this fire. It is likely the result of additional leaf-fall coming into contact with still glowing or hot embers from smoking tree stumps . Firefighters are implementing tactics to keep the fire within containment lines. There are no structures near this interior fire. Crews continued strengthening all fire lines. Today, they will also be mopping-up where possible to 50-100 feet along all control lines, as well as checking and cleaning out of control lines by raking and blowing newly dropped dry leaves.
Acreage: 728 Containment: 80% Start Date: Oct. 23 Closures: None
Knob: "The Knob fire is looking real good," said the Nantahala Operations Branch Chief Troy Floyd, at the morning briefing today in Franklin. "If conditions are good, this could go into patrol status tomorrow." Firefighters continued increasing protective value of dozer and hand crew-cut lines, managing snags (the dead trees that catch fire from the passing fire), and other perimeter control measures. Today, they will mop-up control lines 50-100 feet in by putting out smoldering remnants of the fire. They will also monitor and clean control lines. Crews and security teams will monitor Highway 64 for smoke and traffic hazards as the fire progresses.
Acreage: 1,130 Containment: 50% Start Date: Nov. 2
Closures: Appalachian Trail from the Nantahala River at Wesser, south to Rock Gap. Old 64 Murphy Road closed from its west junction of US 64 to Forest Service Road 67 leading to Standing Indian Campground. Rock Gap may be accessed from the south by going through Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. Standing Indian Campground is OPEN.
Whitewater: Fire crewssecured and strengthened containment lines. Today, they willimprove the lines while monitoring, patrolling, and mopping-up. Teams will continue assessing damage to the trail system as time and conditions allow.
Acreage: 23 Containment: 0% Start Date: unknown
Closures: Trail is closed to the falls.
Cliffside: Firefighters monitored the fire's actions, patrolled, and mopped-up.Today, they willexpand mop-up of control lines to 100 feet inside the perimeter. They also will monitor and clean out these lines.
Acreage: 101 Containment: 95% Start Date: Nov. 2 Closures: None
May Branch, Avey Branch, Buck Creek Grape Cove, Jarrett Knob, Jones Gap, Maple Springs, Mulberry, Moss Knob, Moses Creek, Wine Springs, and Charlies Creek: Crews monitored the fire, patrolled, and mopped-up. They also checked and cleaned out control lines. Today, they will continue increasing mop-up distance to 100 feet in from control lines while monitoring and cleaning out control lines.
Visibility along roads and highways may be limited at times due to smoke and fog. With more people and equipment arriving to fight fires in the area, motorists should exercise caution when driving. HIGH Fire Danger today! NO campfires allowed except in developed campgrounds on the National Forest.
All residents should take precautions such as moving flammable materials like wood or debris piles away from your home or propane tanks. Sweep, rake, or blow dead leaves off roofs, gutters, and decks and away from structures. For more measures to protect your home from wildfire, visit the North Carolina Firewise page at http://www.ncfirewise.org/.
For more information, see http://ncforestservice.gov/news_pubs/newsdesk_2016.htm
The Nantahala National Forest has the following fire restrictions in place:
Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire is not allowed outside of developed campgrounds where a fee is paid.
The State of North Carolina has enacted a burn ban for the following counties: Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey. Under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning in the affected counties, regardless of whether a permit was issued.
TOTAL FIRE BAN in effect for Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests - Over 17,000 acres currently on fire
November 10, 2016 - The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are implementing a TOTAL FIRE BAN due to the extremely dry conditions, high fire danger, and little chance of rain in the immediate forecast.
Beginning on November 10, 2016, the following restrictions are in place for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests until further notice:
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire (including charcoal based fire whether in a grill or not) is NOT ALLOWED anywhere on the National Forest.
The use of commercially available portable lanterns, stoves, or heating equipment that utilize gas or pressurized liquid fuel is allowed.
The updated order expands the restrictions issued on October 28, 2016, to include restrictions in fee-area campgrounds. This restriction only pertains to the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, however, the State of North Carolina has also issued a burn ban for 25 western counties.
Everyone has a part to play in preventing wildfires. Do not have open flame anywhere on the forest and be very cautious about activities that could produce fires such as extinguishing tobacco products or operating equipment without a spark arrestor. For more tips, go to https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos.
More than 20 wildfires are burning on over 17,000 acres across the Nantahala National Forest. All fires are being investigated for suspected arson. Please call the National Forests of North Carolina at 828-257-4200 if you have information about persons setting fires or bragging about setting fires. If you see someone starting a fire, call 911.