November 7, 2016 8:30 p.m.
Once again, calm winds and potential patchy dense fog tonight may combine with smoke settling from Western North Carolina fires resulting in reduced visibility to less than a ¼ mile in valleys. This could impact most of Western North Carolina between 3:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the morning. The most potential for fog is around daybreak.
All areas near wildfires may be foggy and have reduced visibility, especially the stretch of Highway 64 between Hayesville and Franklin may experience reduced visibility.
If you can avoid driving in these areas during these times, do so.
Drivers who must be on the road are encouraged to be especially vigilant and reduce speeds or take other appropriate action to pull completely off the road in cases of severe smoke and foggy conditions.
For more information about the current status of firefighting efforts, please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5075 and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BotelerFire.
A cold front will move from the northwest to the southeast across western North Carolina late Tuesday night. Isolated showers are possible ahead of the front, but rainfall will be limited a few hundredths at the most.
Just ahead of the front winds from the west will increase to 10 - 15 mph with gusts of 20 mph possible. West winds are expected to start increasing as early at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Once the cold front passes, winds will shift out of the northwest and speeds will increase.
Ridge-top wind gusts of 25 - 30 mph will be possible Wednesday morning. Northwest winds will develop as early as 4:00 a.m.Wednesday, with the strongest gusts expected Wednesdayafternoon. Strong northwest winds continue Wednesday night, becoming more northerly after midnight. Gusts of 20 - 25 mph will be possible for much of the night.
Strong winds will create "very active fire behavior" according to incident fire behavior analyst Bruce Davenport. They will also increase the chance of fires spotting across containment lines, especially at higher elevations.
All residents should take precautions such as moving flammable materials like wood or debris piles away from your home or propane tanks. Sweep, rake or blow dead leaves off roofs and decks and away from structures. For more measures to protect your home from wildfire, visit the North Carolina Firewise page at http://www.ncfirewise.org/.
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