So much for the rain bringing a quiet end to all this constant state of emergency and hazardous conditions. High winds last night blew transformers, knocked down trees and started a couple of wildfires near Harold Ledford Road near Otto and in Cullasaja that were quickly brought under control by local volunteer firefighters, members of the NC Forest Service and the US Forest Service.
The local forecast shows that we are due a period rain, heavy at times, and more high winds, although hopefully not as strong as what we experienced last night. Over 350 Maconians are currently without electrical service in 24 separate outages. Duke Energy has all hands on deck and are restoring service as soon as they can safely do so.
CAMP BRANCH FIRE
After last night’s rain and rain that is expected over the next 36 hours, this fire should remain within current lines. The fire size is now estimated at 3,210 acres with about 55% containment. 293 Personnel are assigned to this fire. Rehab operations began yesterday and Rehab Specialists will be starting their work today For more info, see the InciWeb page for the Camp Branch Fire.
At 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 28, Wayah Road (State Road 1310) and Forest Road 711 were opened to all traffic.
Forest Road 69 (Wayah Bald Tower Road) remains closed due to the proximity of the Camp Branch Fire and associated firefighting activity.
Travelers should drive with extra caution through the area that had been closed. Smoke may be present and some debris may roll onto the roadway.
You can keep tabs on Road Closures or hazards at the NCDOT TIMS (Traveller Information Service) page for Macon County at NCDOT TIMS page for Macon County.
Escape from Gatlinburg
Wildfires in the Great Smokies National Park were driven by high winds into the Pigeon Forge, Tellico Plains and Gatlinburg areas last night. WATE-TV broadcast for nearly three hours on Facebook about the developing situation.
Some people recorded footage of their escape and posted the videos to social media. Local TV Stations also took to social media to get out the word of what was happening. Some videos and links to news accounts of the situation are posted below. Keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.
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