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.
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