Maple Springs/Old Roughy Fires Morning Release Nov. 18, 2016
Incident: Maple Springs Fire Wildfire
It was another quiet day on the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires Thursday, even though temperatures climbed into the 70s. The size of the Maple Springs fire increased by only 83 acres, according to results of an infrared flight conducted Thursday night. The fire is now estimated at 7,788 acres with 51 percent containment. The Old Roughy fire, meanwhile, remains at 657 acres and is 100 percent contained.
Firefighters can expect another warm, sunny day, with temperatures again expected to climb into the mid 70s with relative humidities in the 20 percent range. Winds will be light out of the southwest. There is a slight chance of rain but not enough to wet down the extremely dry fuels.
The latest infrared flight showed a decrease in hot spots on both the Maple Springs and Old Roughy fires. There were only about a dozen hot spots showing on the Maple Springs fire and just one remaining heat signature on the Old Roughy fire. Nearly all the remaining hot spots on the Maple Springs fire are located well inside the perimeter of the fire in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness. There are a few hot spots along the southern perimeter of the fire that helicopters will be dumping water on today.
Work on both fires now consists primarily of patrolling and mopping up containment lines. Firefighters are also prepping the Big Santeetlah Road on the southern edge of the fire outside the wilderness area as a potential contingency line.
Both the North Carolina State Forest Service and the U.S. Forest Service have delivered their rehabilitation standards to the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team that is managing the fire. Rehabilitation work will begin in the next few days as fire activity continues to wane. Rehab work consists primarily of filling in dozer lines constructed as fire breaks and building water bars to prevent erosion from runoff due to rain.
A cold front is forecast to move into the area early Saturday and daytime temperatures will drop 20-30 degrees into the mid 40s while overnight temperatures will drop into the 20s. The cold front will be accompanied by strong winds that should provide a good test for established containment lines.
A Joint Information Center has been set up in Asheville to provide information on wildfires burning across western North Carolina. To contact the JIC, call (828) 575-2840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.