Current Status: While fire activity remains low, hot spots remain within the fires' perimeters and the potential for active fire behavior remains high. The Southern Area Gold Team and the North Carolina Forest Service are managing the fires in unified command. The Bald Knob Fire (30% containment) and Wolf Creek Fire (60% containment) are on the Pisgah National Forest.
Community Events: A community meeting will be held tonight, August 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Woodlawn Baptist Church. Team members will provide current information on both fires to the public.
Planned Events: This morning, aviation support is flying both fires and utilizing infrared technology to monitor and detect heat. On the Bald Knob Fire, crews will work to construct dozer lines on the west side of the fire working east towards FS 106. On the east side of the fire, handlines will be constructed and improved along Paddy Creek to Old NC 105 Road. Limited access, rough terrain and heavy vegetation continue to make direct access unviable. Crews continue to assess needs to protect values at risk for both fires. The Wolf Creek Fire will be monitored by aerial resources today.
Fire Weather: Moisture levels will remain low with no chance of rain on Thursday and only a 20% chance of showers on Friday. Relative humidity will remain low and winds will be calm today. Long term drying, combined with high temperatures have developed an unseasonal dry fuel. The chance for active fire behavior remains high.
Air Quality: Due to light winds today, any smoke produced on the Bald Knob Fire will stay close to the fire. The Wolf Creek Fire continues to smolder and produce slight smoke. Light haze will be in the town of Old Fort, while the air quality remains good for all areas close to the fire.
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 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.