NEBO, NC (April 12, 2017)…The Dobson Knob Fire is now 550 acres and 10 percent contained. Successful burnout operations occurred yesterday east of the fire using the Mountains to Sea Trail as a fire break. Additional burnout operations are planned for today on a dozer line completed north of the fire that connects Forest Road 106 (Dobson Knob Road) to Old Linville Road. To the west of the fire, structure protection will continue and firefighters will burn out hazardous pockets of fuel. The fire is somewhat limited in growth and intensity to the south due its proximity to the Bald Knob Fire footprint that consumed a major amount of hazardous fuel in 2015.
Today’s forecasted higher humidity and calm winds should moisten fine fuels and moderate fire behavior. Light northwest winds may push smoke to the south and east, creating a haze or light ground smoke to form in surrounding communities. There is a slight chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms that could further wet fuels; however, the gusty, erratic winds that can accompany thunderstorms may temporarily increase fire behavior.
A community meeting will be held tomorrow at the Woodlawn Baptist Church in Marion. The meeting will start at 7 p.m.; fire officials will review progress on suppression operations and respond to questions about the fire.
The wildfire has caused some trail closures, including a portion of the Mountains to Sea Trail being used to contain the fire. All forest trail and forest road closures can be found on the National Forests in North Carolina website at www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.
The U.S. Forest Service and N.C. Forest Service fire officials caution anyone attempting to operate a drone in and around the fire footprint. Unauthorized drones pose a real danger to aircraft and flight personnel assigned to fire operations, and are prohibited from use around wildfires.
Additional fire information can be found on INCIWEB (inciweb.nwcg.gov/).