A fire in McDowell County continues to send smoke into the High Country as it grows and winds shift. The Dobson Knob Fire grew from 125 acres Monday morning to 200 acres by late Monday afternoon. The fire remains 0% contained, according to the National Forest Service. The fire was reported Sunday evening (April 9th). The Fire is burning in McDowell County on the north side of Dobson Knob near the North Cove Community, north of Marion, NC.
Facebook Video provided to WataugaOnline.com courtesy of James Combs
The fire started on private property and is now burning on both private land and U.S. Forest Service land on the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
On Monday firefighters worked on structure protection for 35 residences and 10 minor structures that are threatened by the fire. Minor burnout operations took place around structures nearest the fire. Fire managers scouted the area for potential fire lines on the south and west sides of the fire. The area around Dobson Knob is steep and rocky. Fire managers are looking to fall back to existing defensible fire lines where possible. The area has a long history of wildfire, most recently the Bald Knob Fire in 2015.
In order to protect public and firefighter safety, an area closure is now in effect. This closure covers all U.S. Forest Service lands north of Mountains to Sea Trail (Tr #440) and Dobson Knob Road (Forest Service Road #106), east of North Fork of Catawba River, south Old Linville Rd (State Road 1560), and west of Overmountain Victory Trail (Tr #308G). Closures are also in place for the Mountains to Sea Trail (Trail #440) from the North Fork of the Catawba River to Old NC 105 (SR 1238 / Kistler Memorial Highway) and Dobson Knob Road (FSRD 106).
Communities in the North Cove, Woodlawn, and Linville Falls Communities as well as areas to the north of the fire may experience dense smoke overnight and tomorrow morning. Travelers along 221N should expect to experience smoke along the roadway.
The fire started on private property and is now burning on both private land and U.S. Forest Service land on the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The North Carolina Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, McDowell County Emergency Management, and local Volunteer Fire Departments are responding. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Photo courtesy of Emily Proshuto