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.
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