Here is a press release from the US Forest Service on the fires that have started over the last week in the area. Photos and video are by Macon Media.
National Forests in North Carolina
160A Zillicoa St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
PIO – Deanna Younger
FRANKLIN, NC, October 29, 2016
Jones Gap Fire: Reported this morning near Bartram Trail, located northwest of Highlands. Initial attack crews are on the scene. The Cliffside Day Use Area between Highlands and Franklin is closed today to allow helicopters to safely dip water from Cliffside Lake to fight the fire. Bartram Trail is also closed from Hickory Knoll Road to State Highway 106 due to fire activity. Fire size unknown at this time.
Moses Creek Fire: Reported Friday afternoon, October 28, on Sheep Mountain northeast of Cullowhee. Initial attack using helicopter water drops assisted in reducing fire intensity while dozer containment lines were constructed. The fire area is roughly estimated at 30+ acres in steep, rough, forested terrain. Crews are on scene today securing fire lines, extinguishing hot spots, addressing hazard trees and monitoring fire weather conditions. No structures threatened.
Grape Cove Fire: Started October 26, near Grape Cove Branch located north of Rufus Morgan Falls, west of Franklin – The Boardtree Road remains temporarily closed while fire crews conduct burnout operations today south of Wayah Road. During burnout operations, firefighters will be putting fire on the ground near containment lines and burning toward the main fire area. This operation uses low impact fire to create a black area between containment lines and active fire, strengthening fire containment lines. Smoke may be more visible. Fire size is about 11 acres. No structures threatened.
Boteler Peak Fire: Reported October 25, on Boteler Peak near old highway 64 east of Murphy. Fire size is estimated at 2 acres. Burning in steep, rough, remote terrain. Air attack may be on the scene today. No structures in immediate vicinity of the fire.
Dicks Creek Fire: Started October 23, northwest of Sylva – Patrol and monitoring continues around containment lines. Fire activity limited to smoldering large trees well within the interior of the 374-acre fire area. No structure damage.
HIGH Fire Danger today!
NO Campfires allowed except in developed campgrounds where fees are charged.