At 1:54 pm on the afternoon of february 17, 2017, the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) and Otto Fire Department were called out to a report that a brush fire had gotten out of control near the Mulberry Road and Crystal Creek Road. Otto quickly called for Station 5 out of Rabun County to assist them with structure protection.
Shortly after 2:30 pm, NC Forest personnel reported the fire had grown to approximately 10 to 15 acres and had the potential to grow to the neighborhood of 300 to 500 acres. United States Forest Service (USFS) also had units respond to the fire, including a dozer and a helicopter. The helicopter was eventually diverted to the Cold Mountain Fire after taking a lap around the Long Ridge Fire and taking on fuel at the Macon County Airport.
At 3:40 pm, NC Forest Service personnel reported the head of the fire had been caught and they were in the processing of tying lines together around the fire.
More will be added to this narrative as it develops. A play by play is posted below that goes into detail of what has been reported about the fire. Macon MEdia has provided a live feed of the radio traffic from the fire at MaconScan.com. In case things get too busy, the Facebook post has been included. It will update when Macon Media posts on the Facebook Page.
Original Post on Facebook:
NC Forest Service and Otto Fire Department are responding to report of a brush fire out of control near 4500 Mulberry Road.
**4:27 pm** This post has been mirrored on the blog at http://thunderpigblog.blogspot.com/2017/02/long-ridge-fire.html It also includes a Google Earth image of the approximate location of the fire.
**3:55 pm** N12HX has landed at the Macon County Airport.
**3:45 pm** Helicopter N12HX has done a lap around the Long Ridge Fire and is enroute to the Macon County airport to take on fuel and wait for LatLon on the Cold Mountain Fire.
**3:40 pm** NCFS units report they’ve caught the head of the fire and are tying in lines around the fire. [This is a very good report]
**3:35 pm** Asheville Dispatch has told helicopter N12HX to set down at the Long Ridge Helispot until they can get a LatLon on the Cold Mountain Fire. The helicopter has a 5 minute ETA to the Long Ridge Fire.
**3:34 pm** Long Ridge Command said they could have the helicopter.
**3:31 pm** Asheville Dispatch has asked Long Ridge Command if they can redeploy the helicopter on another fire. (This may be the Cold Mountain Fire)
**3:06 pm** Clarks Chapel truck #1351 will be standing by at the Otto Substation to handle calls in the Otto Fire District.
**3:00 pm** A dozer has arrived onscene. The USFS seem to think they can catch this thing before it gets too large.
**2:55 pm** USFS report the helicopter has a 45 minute ETA. It is enroute from Morganton, NC.
**2:32 pm** NC Forest Service report the fire is about 10 to 15 acres in size and has the potential to grow to 300 to 500 acres potential. Otto and Station 5 have been placed on structure protection. It is mostly on government land.
The fire has been named Long Ridge Fire.
**2:25 pm **USFS Dozer-3111 is also enroute to this fire. LatLon reported as N 35° 01.155; by W 83° 23.822′ The helispot will be near the intersection of Mulberry and Carpenter Road. Please avoid this area. A/G-13 will be the helicopter working frequency. This has been added to the online feed.
**2:23 pm** USFS Units have requested a helicopter for this fire. This means those of you who may be thinking about getting drone footage of this fire should not be flying.
**2:17 pm** Tones have been set requesting additional manpower from Otto Fire Department.
**2:08 pm ** Macon EOC advises a caller on Crystal Creek Road is reporting their house is in danger. Command has requested Station 5 out of Rabun County be sent to provide mutual aid on this call.