**This will be the final update submitted from the Southern Area Blue Team for the Eastern Cherokee Complex. The Blue Team will transition the Eastern Cherokee Complex back to the local Bureau of Indian Affairs office beginning Monday morning.
Update: 4 Sunday, November 13, 2016 9:00 AM
Incident size: 751 acres
Current Situation: 75% contained
Number of personnel: 184
The Southern Area Blue Team continues to provide management of the Eastern Cherokee Complex Fire. One small fire was reported yesterday with initial attack forces taking successful action. Operations today will focus on holding all lines and mopping up. 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 15 fires currently being managed within the Cherokee Nation totaling 751 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. Overnight temperatures experienced were varied, with some locations seeing hard frost, which will further cure fuels. Wind gusts are expected on the ridgelines today. Prevailing winds will once again test the lines already established and we 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-one 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.
This will be the last update from the Blue Team for this incident.
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