12-02-2016 UPDATE: Boteler, Maple Springs, and Nantahala Branch Fires.
Incident: Boteler Fire Wildfire
11 crews, 4 engines, 5 helicopters including Medi-Vac, 5 excavators, 486 total personnel, 36,678 total acres
Fire Suppression Activity
Yesterday crews continued to make progress with mopping up firelines, patrolling and clearing established containment lines of any newly fallen leaves. With expected further rains this weekend, fire managers are anticipating this to be the season ending event that will see containment of all fires in the region. Today’s focus has transitioned to suppression-repair and restoration efforts to prefire conditions. Some hotspots that remain on the Camp Branch Fire are well within the perimeter and may continue to produce smoke. As more fires in the region become completed, excess resources will continue to be released and available to assist with other area fires. A smaller incident management organization will take over from the Blue Team on Sunday. A Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation team (BAER) is now in place and is working to complete its assessment and recommendations to lessen immediate hazards to public resources from effects of the fire. Team members have already started assessing the fire area to address potential values at risk related to life and property, water quality and critical plant and wildlife habitat.
Camp Branch Fire (Macon County) Size: 3,422 acres, Containment: 75% Start Date: November 23
Boteler Fire (Clay County) Size: 9,036 acres, Containment: 85% Start Date: October 25
Maple Springs (Graham County) Size: 7,788 acres, Containment: 78% Start Date: November 4
Weather and Fire Behavior
Dry and cool conditions continue for today. Temperatures will warm into the 40’s and 50’s today, relative humidity is expected to bottom out at around 30%. Wind will be breezy out of the northwest today and are expected to be around 6 to 10 mph, slightly higher along ridgetops, 14 to 18, with gusts to 22 mph. This pattern will continue into Saturday with an increase in chances of rain late in the weekend.
Nantahala National Forest Closures
· All forest closures remain in effect for the Tusquitee: bit.ly/2fArtYf, Cheoah: bit.ly/2fDZuqt, and the Tusquitee and Nantahala Ranger Districts: bit.ly/2g1iPm1. Visit the bit.ly link for full information
Joint Information Center (JIC)
· The public is asked to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.