Current Status: Fire growth potential will remain high due to drying fuels, lower relative humidity and higher temperatures. Some flare-ups may be expected as daytime heating occurs. The Southern Area Gold Team and the North Carolina Forest Service are managing the fires in unified command. The Bald Knob Fire (40% containment) and Wolf Creek Fire (70% containment) are on the Pisgah National Forest.
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 continue contingency line construction. The Wolf Creek Fire will be monitored by aerial resources today. Crews continue to assess needs to protect values at risk for both fires. Limited access, rough terrain and heavy vegetation continue to make direct access unviable.
Fire Weather: Moisture will remain limited Friday through Sunday, with a slight chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the low to mid-80s. Relative humidity will be 45-50% with light and variable winds.
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 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.
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.