Firefighters make progress containing wildfires in WNC, burn ban issued

Firefighters made significant progress containing the two wildfires burning on U.S. Forest Service lands in Western North Carolina, reports the North Carolina FS today.

Fire crews are continuing operations today to further increase containment on the Cals Creek Fire in Macon County and the Camp Daniel Boone Fire in Haywood County.

The Cals Creek Fire is estimated at 90 acres and 70% contained. The fire is burning on US Forest Service land in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest east of Otto, NC, between Evans Creek and Cals Cove.

Firefighters completed containment lines yesterday. As of this afternoon, fire activity is low. 35 firefighters are on scene today from the US Forest Service and the NC Forest Service. Firefighters are monitoring the fire and extinguishing any remaining hot spots near the fire lines.

The Camp Daniel Boone Fire is estimated at 72 acres and 65% contained. The fire started on private property off Little East Fork Rd. and is now burning in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area on the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

Firefighters completed containment lines yesterday.

10 US Forest Service firefighters are on scene today to monitor the fire. Structures associated with the Camp Daniel Boone facility were initially threatened, but thanks to a rapid response by the North Carolina Forest Service, including use of state air tankers for water drops, those structures are secure and no longer at risk and fire growth was minimized.

The northern Art Loeb and Little East Fork trailheads remain closed due to the fire and hiking to Deep Gap or the peak of Cold Mountain is discouraged. 

The cause of both fires remains under investigation.

Potential rainfall today is expected to moderate conditions, but unless significant rainfall is received, hazardous fire conditions will return with as little as one day of dry, sunny weather.

The US Forest Service urges the public to practice caution as they visit the national forests. Visitors are asked to follow guidance under the burn ban and consider postponing their camping trips. Stay up to date on current national forest closures HERE.

Open burn ban issued in Jackson and Macon Counties 

Due to extended hazardous fire conditions, the North Carolina Forest Service has issued a ban on all open burning for 32 Western North Carolina counties. The burning ban went into effect on April 3, and will remain in effect until further notice. Click HERE for more information.

N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner, Steven Troxler, issued an order to cancel all burning permits and prohibit all open burning for 32 counties in western NC, including Jackson, Macon, Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Lincoln, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey.

The burn ban does not apply to fires started within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling.

Fires within that 100 feet must be confined within an enclosure from which burning material may not escape or within a protected area upon which a watch is being maintained and which is provided with adequate fire protection equipment.

However, local fire marshals have the authority to issue a burn ban within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling.

Photo at the top of the article courtesy of the USFS.

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