Current Status: Management of the fires will transfer back to the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest on Tuesday, August 18. The fires are currently being managed in unified command between the Southern Area Gold Team and the North Carolina Forest Service. Both the Bald Knob Fire (80% containment) and the Wolf Creek Fire (90% containment) are on the Pisgah National Forest. Unless there is a change in status of the fires, this is anticipated to be the last daily fire update.
Planned Events: Crews will continue to patrol and mop up containment lines on the Bald Knob Fire and ensure snags are mitigated for firefighter safety. Crews continue to rehabilitate fire lines for erosion control. In addition, the Wolf Creek Fire will continue to be monitored by aerial resources.
Fire Weather: A weak cold front will move into the fire area Monday, bringing and increased chance of showers on Monday. Beginning Tuesday, widespread showers and thunderstorms are anticipated each day for the rest of the week.
Air Quality: The Bald Knob Fire will have minimal smoke production Monday with continual smoldering through Tuesday. Highest smoke concentrations will stay close to the fire. Anticipate light smoke and haze to drift east and north starting early afternoon, then downslope early evening and throughout the night.
The Wolf Creek Fire continues to smolder producing slight smoke. Higher relative humidity and light winds will limit smoke production. Air quality will remain good,with light hazefor the town of Old Fort. Over the next few days rain is forecasted. Light winds and low mixing heights with poor to fair ventilation is expected. Therefore, smoke will remain near the fire source with some downslope movement.
Bald Knob Fire
Wolf Creek Fire
Closures & Restrictions: A temporary closure of a section of the Mountains to Sea Trailbetween the footbridge over the North Fork of the Catawba River and Dobson Knob Road (Forest Service Road 106) remains in place.
Heartbreak Ridge Trail (208) and Star Gap Trail (209) remain closed to public use and will be in effect until further notice. Jarrett Creek Road (FS4030) is also closed to public use. Forest Service officials are asking the public to avoid this area for their own safety and the safety of emergency response personnel on scene.
The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has been modified and is in place through 6:00 p.m., August 17th.
Information: Fire officials will no longer post on area information boards. Information and photos are also available on the sites listed at the top of this update.
Cooperating agencies include the North Carolina Forest Service, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, McDowell County Emergency Management, and The Nature Conservancy.