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