Current Status: A strategic firing operation was conducted on the southern point of the Bald Knob Fire, resulting in an addition of 254 acres to that fire total. The fire potential remains high for the next several days due to low relative humidity, high temperatures and low moisture content. The Southern Area Gold Team and the North Carolina Forest Service are managing the fires in unified command. The Bald Knob Fire (70% containment) and Wolf Creek Fire (70% containment) are on the Pisgah National Forest.
Planned Events: Today, crews on the Bald Knob Fire will patrol and mop up containment lines, ensuring hazardous snags are removed to provide for firefighter safety. In addition, the Wolf Creek Fire will continue to be monitored by aerial resources.
Fire Weather: A small portion of the fire received 1/10th of an inch of rain on August 15. There is a 30% chance of afternoon showers today. The relative humidity will be 45-50% with light and variable winds. Highs will be in the low to mid-80s. Relative humidity will be 50-55% with light and variable winds.
Air Quality:The Bald Knob Fire saw an increase in smoke production Saturday due to strategic firing operations performed on the southwest corner of the fire. Smoldering will continue through Sunday. With light winds and low mixing heights the highest smoke concentrations will stay close to the fire. Anticipate light smoke and haze to drift east and south starting early afternoon throughout the night time hours.
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.