Current Status: The Southern Area Gold Team and the North Carolina Forest Service are managing the Bald Knob and Wolf Creek Fires in unified command. The Bald Knob Fire (20% containment, started July 17) and Wolf Creek Fire (60% containment, started July 31) were caused by lightning on the Pisgah National Forest.
Community Events: A community meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Woodlawn Baptist Church on Thursday, August 13, 2015. The public can expect to receive updated information about the fires.
Planned Events: Both fires are being managed by utilizing a “confine and contain” strategy to manage the forest for multiple objectives. On the Wolf Creek Fire, crews will monitor and patrol containment lines for heat. Limited access, rough terrain and heavy vegetation make direct access unviable for firefighters on the Bald Knob Fire. Firefighter crews continue to construct and enforce fire containment lines using dozers and hand crews and will be scouting potential fire dozer lines between the 105 Road and Paddy Creek in the Linville Gorge area and in the North Cove community. Crews continue to coordinate supply needs for values at risk for both fires.
Fire Weather: A high pressure system will bring much drier and slightly cooler conditions to the fires on Wednesday. There is little chance of rain for the next few days. Fire activity is anticipated to increase, particularly over the Bald Knob Fire.
Air Quality: The drier weather and lower relative humidity will cause an increase in smoke production. Air quality on Wednesday will remain good; air quality for Thursday will remain good in Marion and Nebo; while, Old Fort and the Lake James Area may see moderate levels.
Bald Knob Fire
Wolf Creek Fire
Closures & Restrictions: A temporary closure of a section of the Mountains to Sea Trail between 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.
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place until August 31st: http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_5_0361.html
Information: Fire officials will continue to update the fire information boards at the Woodlawn Roadside Park, Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Department, Grandfather Ranger District office in Nebo and Black Bear Access area on Lake James. 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.