Firefighters continued to make good progress containing both the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires on Sunday. Containment on the 657-acre Old Roughy fire jumped from 8 to 60 percent while the 7,177-acre Maple Springs fire increased from 13 to 15 percent containment.
An evacuation order issued on Nov. 9 for residents along Ryfield Road on the east side of the Old Roughy fire was lifted on Sunday afternoon due to the increased containment.
Fire managers are focusing efforts on opening sections of Highway 129 that were closed due to falling trees. Two falling teams worked on cutting trees that could pose a threat along the closed sections of road.
Crews are mopping up and improving containment lines on both the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires, a process that will continue to ensure hot spots burning in stumps, logs and deep duff are extinguished.
Weather on Monday will be similar to Sunday, with temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s and relative humidities in the upper 30 percent range, providing favorable conditions for mop-up operations on both fires.
Fire managers on Sunday were once again able to employ helicopters to drop water on the southern flank of the fire in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness where the Maple Springs fire is still active. Reduced visibility due to smoke prevented the use of water-scooping aircraft.
A burn-out operation along a 1-mile section of Highway 129 west of the Cheoah River was successful on the eastern perimeter of the fire. Firefighters hope to complete that mission by burning out another half-mile section Monday. The burn-out operation brought the fire down to the river and reinforced the containment line paralleling the highway.
While firefighters appreciate the abundance of food and monetary donations that have come from residents in Graham County during the past week, the need for such donations has diminished. Residents are asked that future donations be directed to local non-profit agencies or the Wildland Fallen Firefighter Foundation at https://wffoundation.org.
Maple Springs Fire 7,177 acres Old Roughy Fire 657 acres
Evacuations: Call 828-479-7985 for up to date information.
Maple Springs 15% contained Old Roughy 60% contained
Location: North of Lake Santeetlah
11/04/16 Maple Springs 11/08/16 Old Roughy
Causes to be determined.
Total personnel: 410 responders
Rocky Mountain Type 2 Blue Team
Burn ban in effect: www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nfscn/alerts-notices/
Air Quality Reports: www.xapps.ncdenr.org
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