Full announcement from the U.S. Forest Service:
BURKE COUNTY, NC – This morning at 6:00 am, the Southern Area Type 2 Team assumed management responsibility for the Table Rock Fire. At morning briefing, Incident Commander Steve Parrish commended the work of the departing North Carolina Type 3 Team and reminded firefighters that we will continue to plan suppression strategies with firefighter and public safety as highest consideration.
Today’s plans are to actively monitor the fire’s expected continued slow progression, fortify containment lines, and mop up areas where the fire is no longer actively burning. However, fire suppression strategies are always flexible and must be adjusted as conditions change. Should the fire become more active due to weather, fuels, or other conditions changing, suppression activities would be adjusted accordingly.
Due to the inaccessibility of the active fire area, currently mapped containment lines are located approximately two miles south of the fire. One of those options, should the fire begin a rapid progression to the south, would be to burn out sections of the area between the active fire and the containment lines. Implementation of this option would require very specific conditions including wind direction, wind speed, smoke dispersion forecasts, temperature, and humidity. Those conditions are predicted to occur today, however, burnout operations are not planned for today unless the fire makes a major run to the south. With today’s predicted weather, no significant change in fire behavior is expected.
The Table Rock wildfire, which started November 12th, is located in Linville Gorge on Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The fire is currently at 2,481 acres and 40 percent containment. There are 200 firefighters working on the fire.
For information on the latest road and trail closures, visit the National Forests in North Carolina website. Visitors should check the website before planning a trip to the gorge. Additional information and photos can also be found at the Incident Information System website http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3752/.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Fire investigators are looking for any information or observations that may help determine the cause of the fire. A reward may be offered for substantial information and persons should contact Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp at 828-442-2470 or the Grandfather Ranger District at 828-652-2144.