UPSTATE,SC – The latest update on the wildfires in western NC and upstate SC.
NEW FIRE STARTS:
ASHE COUNTY: 2 Mile Fire – at last report was contained at approximately 400 acres. Will hopefully have better acreage on that later today.
WATAUGA COUNTY: Horton Fire – is currently approximately 400 acres but not contained. It has the potential to grow to approximately 1,000 acres if it escapes the box they’re trying to hold it in. There are 55 structures to the northeast of Blowing Rock around Sampson Road and the Parkway that could be threatened if it grows. There is currently no reported containment on this fire. Burnout operations are underway along with structure protection. Sampson Road is closed, access only for emergency vehicles. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered.
More information on these fires will be posted to the Evening Summary.
PINNACLE MOUNTAIN FIRE (SCFS / USFS – PICKENS AND TRANSYLVANIA COUNTIES)
Overnight infrared flights of the Pinnacle Mountain fire reveal the blaze has grown to approximately 6,000 acres, as estimated in yesterday’s update. The fire has crossed into the north-western sliver of Greenville County and up against the western side of Table Rock Reservoir. This portion of the fire, which escaped a small portion of the northern perimeter of the original containment area late Saturday is the most active area and continues to grow at a moderate pace. The division of 60 hand crew members and three bulldozers assigned to this growing section is constructing lines from Table Rock Reservoir on the east around the fire to Benfield Road on the west where Greenville and Pickens counties meet. The western and southwestern firelines are very well contained after successful burnouts. Most other personnel continue to concentrate their efforts on reinforcing and improving the lines on all other sides of the containment area. One Black Hawk and two Chinook helicopters continue to drop water on hot spots.
Acreage: 6,000 – Personnel: 200 – Start Date: November 9
CLEAR CREEK FIRE (NCFS / USFS – PLEASANT GARDEN, MCDOWELL COUNTY)
A public meeting will be held tonight 11/22/16 at 6:30 PM at the Greenlee Baptist Church at
5977 US 70 W, Old Fort, NC. Please note that the Clear Creek Road, at the junction with Old Clear Creek Road, is closed to residential traffic only.
Dry fuels and wind over the past couple of days provided for increased fire activity despite cooler temperatures. Crews have made progress prepping, installing, and improving indirect fireline. Favorable conditions yesterday allowed for burnout operations along the southern and eastern portions of the fire. Night operations continued to patrol along the southern and eastern edges of the fire. Planned Actions: Firefighters will continue to construct and improve indirect fireline around the fire perimeter. When possible, crews will resume burnout operations on the northeastern edge of the fire. Structure protection will continue along the Clear Creek Road and Hwy 80. Air resources are available to assist firefighters along the western edge of the fire with bucket drops.
Thompson’s Eastern Montana Type II Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire on Nov. 21st at 8:00 pm. The IMT will be working closely with local US Forest Service, NC Forest Service, and McDowell County partners. Numerous resources continue to arrive on incident including Type 1 and Type 2 hand crews, engines, heavy equipment, and helicopters
Acreage: 1187 – Containment: 0% – Start Date: November 20
MAPLE SPRINGS FIRE (USFS-LAKE SANTEELAH AREA, GRAHAM COUNTY)
A reconnaissance flight on yesterday afternoon found no smokes on the Maple Springs fire and an evening infrared flight revealed only a half dozen small areas of heat, all well within established containment lines. The only uncontained line on the fire is in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness.
Acreage: 7,788 – Containment: 69% – Personnel: 276 – Start Date: November 4
Tellico Fire (USFS-NANTAHALA GORGE AREA, Swain and Macon Counties)
No fire spread is anticipated, although the potential for more active fire behavior remains. Leaves are the biggest concern for firefighters as the unseasonably late leaf fall continues to spread fresh fuel upon the fire. Each day firefighters must walk the perimeter of the fire to remove leaves from the containment line. If this were not done on a regular basis, the accumulated leaf fall would bridge the containment lines and provide a path for fire to escape containment.
Acreage: 13,874- Containment: 91% – Personnel: 294- Start Date: November 3
Boteler Fire (USFS-CHUNKY GAL AREA, Clay County)
Morning update remains unchanged; firefighters will monitor and respond to any threats to the containment line. Leaf fall continues to challenge containment efforts by covering fire lines causing reburn. Patrolling and monitoring existing firelines will continue.
Acreage: 9,043- Containment: 77% – Personnel: 334 – Start Date: October 25
CATHY GAP FIRE (USFS – JACKSON/TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY LINE)
Based on completed containment actions and available staffing, no fire spread is anticipated. Risk should be reduced as the cold front moves past the area and wind speeds moderate. Fire crews will strengthen containment lines and provide structure protection where needed. Increased wind speeds will result in a heavier leaf fall. These leaves will accumulate, and add to the potential for re-burn inside the fire area. Crews will patrol and clear leaves from containment lines.
Acreage: 123 – Containment: 85% – Personnel: 53 – Start Date: November 17
PARTY ROCK FIRE (NCFS-LAKE LURE AREA, RUTHERFORD, BUNCOMBE, AND HENDERSON COUNTIES)
All roads in the Lake Lure area are now open and all evacuation orders and pre-evacuation notices have been cancelled. The evacuation center will close today. Firefighters will continue to “mop-up” the fire perimeter today, thankful that fire lines have held after three straight days of strong winds. Crews will remain vigilant since the fuels that drove the growth of the Party Rock Fire are still critically dry and more fuel, in the form of falling leaves, were being spread by the wind. Hot spots remain and have been visible, especially at night, and those are being dealt with if they pose a threat to structures or the containment lines. Winds are expected to be light today.
Some fire crews were released last night and more will go home, or to other fires, today.
After managing the fire for two weeks, The Brandon North Carolina Incident Management team is also heading home tomorrow. An Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team is now on site and will take command of the fire Wednesday 11/23/16.
Steve Troxler, N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture in addition to local, state and federal delegates are scheduled to tour the Party Rock Fire today followed by a news conference at 3:00 P.M.
More information will be provided on the Evening Summary.
The Brandon Incident Management Team would like to extend a special thank you to the citizens of the Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village communities and surrounding areas for their outpouring of generosity to those involved with fighting the Party Rock Fire. Please contact your local county emergency management office. Contact information is listed on the North Carolina Joint Information Center Blog at http://ncjic.blogspot.com/p/donations.html
Acreage: 7,171 – Containment: 45% – Personnel: 902 – Start Date: November 5
CHESTNUT KNOB FIRE (NCFS-SOUTH MOUNTAINS STATE PARK, BURKE COUNTY)
Re-burn of newly fallen leaves is still a major issue. Crews are continuing to isolate and extinguish spots of re-ignition to prevent fire spread. Aerial resources were used again yesterday to cool down areas of re-burn so crews could work the re-ignition areas. The Florida Green Team was given approval by their agency to extend their assignment from 14 to 21 days. Crews are beginning to assess potential damage to trail areas and stream crossings.
Acreage: 6,433- Containment: 50% – Personnel: 352 – Start Date: November 6
DOBSON 3 FIRE (BIA- QUALLA BOUNDARY, JACKSON COUNTY)
Fire resources were sent to the Clear Creek Fire to assist the Uwharrie Ranger Dist. Fire suppression crews continue to patrol all fires within the Qualla Boundary. Safety of the firefighters and of the community is the number the one priority as the firefighters go about their daily responsibilities.
Acreage: 756- Containment: 90% – Personnel: 71 – Start Date: November 2
ROCK MOUNTAIN FIRE (USFS – SOUTHERN NANTAHALA WILDERNESS AREA, NORTH GEORGIA AND CLAY AND MACON COUNTIES IN NC)
There is a community meeting for information about the Rock Mountain Fire tonight 11/22/16. The meeting will be held at the Macon County Community Center next to the Otto Firehouse on 60 Firehouse Dr. at 6 P.M.
Mulberry Road is closed to through traffic in Macon County. It is open to local residents and emergency personnel only.
Acreage: 11,757 – Containment: 30% – Personnel: 458- Start Date: November 9
The home of “Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki has been destroyed in a wildfire in California.
By the end of the day Monday, it was reported to be 1,365 acres and 20 percent contained.
It is about 20 miles south of Waynesville, North Carolina, in the headwaters of Crawford Creek.
The news about the two arrests in the Gatlinburg wildfires came on December 7 in a live TBI news conference.
Burger knew something was wrong on November 28 when his cat started acting strangely.