By David Rogers. November 20, 2016. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Our temperatures may now be below freezing, but without precipitation the region’s fire hazard will increase.
The Chestnut Knob fire in the northwest corner of South Mountains Game Lands and South Mountains State Park have our attention here in the High Country because it is just south of nearby Morganton, but according to InciWeb (Incident Information System), there are currently 16 wildfires in Western North Carolina, many of them south and west of Asheville.
COVER IMAGE: Photographic image by Brad Batchelor for Blowing Rock News. Flying to Boone from Atlanta, smoke is thick over the Southern Appalachians.
The Southern Area Coordination Center indicates that among the most extreme drought conditions in the U.S. are in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
InciWeb is an inter-agency information service of the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, National Associaiton of State Foresters, U.S. Fire Administration, and National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
Of the 16 wildfires in North Carolina, all are in the western portion of the state. Here is a list and their current status as of 2:35 am, November 20, 2016, according to information obtained from InciWeb.
- Cathey Gap (west of Brevard), wildfire, active, 123 acres
- Boteler Fire (east of Murphy), wildfire, active, 9,015 acres
Tellico Fire (west of Cullowhee), wildfire, active, 13,874 acres
- Dick’s Creek Fire (northwest of Sylva), wildfire, active, 728 acres
- Cliffside Fire (northwest of Highlands), wildfire, active, 101 acres
- Muskrat Valley Fire (southwest of Cullowhee), wildfire, active, 103 acres
- Knob Fire (west of Highlands), wildfire, active, 1,130 acres
- Party Rock Fire (northwest of Lake Lure), wildfire, active, 7,171 acres
- Chestnut Knob Fire (south of Morganton), wildfire, active, 6,424 acres
- Maple Springs Fire (southwest of Fontana Dam), wildfire, active, 7,788 acres
- Dobson 3 Fire (southeast of Cherokee), wildfire, active, 756 acres
- May Branch Fire (west of Franklin), wildfire, active, 175 acres
- Ferebee Fire (west of Cullowhee), wildfire, active, 3,175 acres
- Old Roughy Fire (south of Fontana Dam), wildfire, active, 657 acres
- Moses Creek Fire (east of Cullowhee), wildfire, active, 103 acres
- Avey Branch Fire (south of Tapoco/Fontana Dam), wildfire, active, 1,200 acres