Both the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires continued to grow in size slightly Friday due to receptive fuels and windy conditions. The Maple Springs Fire increased approximately 800 acres and the Old Roughy Fire grew by about 120 acres.
More firefighting and aircraft resources have arrived in the last two days, allowing fire managers to increase efforts building and reinforcing containment lines. Firefighters continue to mop up and patrol the fire edges in and around structures while also conducting burn-out operations where applicable to deprive the fires the fuel they need to spread.
A successful burn-out operation was completed on the southeast flank of the Old Roughy Fire on Friday to secure containment lines and greatly reduce the threat to structures in that area. Burn outs were also used Friday to reinforce the northwestern flank of the Maple Springs Fire.
The fire along Highway 129 on the northeastern side of the fire continues to hold west of the road and is not threatening to cross the road at any point. Detours remain in place in two areas along Highway 129 due to falling trees and the potential for snags. The public is asked to be aware of firefighting activity along Highway 129 and other local roads in the area. Please slow down and drive with added caution to provide a safe environment for firefighters to do their jobs.
When weather and smoke conditions allow, fire managers will use water-scooping aircraft today to secure containment lines protecting the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness on the southwest edge of the Maple Springs Fire. Firefighters are also prepping Big Santeetlah Road to the south of the wilderness as a potential control line. The Wilderness is one of the “few remaining tracts of virgin hardwood in the Appalachians.” Fire managers have worked closely with the U.S. Forest Service to create a plan to protect the wilderness area. Firefighters will be using leaf blowers and rakes to clear litter and debris in and around identified groves of trees. Removing litter on the forest floor will lower surface fire intensity around those trees.
A cold front that moved through the area on Friday will be replaced by a high pressure system that is expected to bring sunnier, warmer conditions in the next few days, with temperatures expected to approach 60 degrees. Winds will be lighter but still factor into the potential for fire spread.
North Carolina is experiencing unprecedented fire behavior. The large number of wildfires in the region are stressing the availability of local resources and creating the need to bring in additional firefighters and incident management teams from around the country.
Maple Springs Fire
Old Roughy Fire
Call 828-479-7985 for up
to date information
Maple springs 10% contained
Old Roughy 5% 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:
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