Press release from the National Forests in North Carolina:
Location: The Cold Mountain Fire is located in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, approximately 20 miles south of Waynesville, North Carolina, in the headwaters of Crawford Creek.
Estimated acreage: Approximately 132 acres
Containment (as of 2/20, 4 p.m.): 50 percent
Fire cause: The Cold Mountain Fire was reported on Friday afternoon, February 17, 2017.The human-caused fire is under investigation.
Resources on the fire: Approximately 83 firefighters and support staff, including 2 crews, 2 engines, 1 helicopter and various overhead, are currently assigned to the incident. Additional personnel and resources will be requested as needed.
Current situation: Fire behavior today was low to moderate with little or no active fire movement enabling crews to make considerable progress. Crews were assigned to “cold trail” the fire edge and construct containment lines where needed using minimum impact suppression tactics given the fire’s location within Shining Rock Wilderness Area to protect the resource values associated with wilderness areas. Fire personnel were assigned to the ridge and drainage area east of Cold Mountain to recon the area for potential contingency line location if needed. “Crews made excellent progress today and I want to personally commend them for their efforts,” stated Incident Commander David McFee.
Closures: An emergency closure order is in effect on national forest system lands in the following area: The Art Loeb Trail (#146) north of Shining Rock Gap and the Cold Mountain Trail (#141). See map below.
Cooperators: The Cold Mountain Fire is cooperatively managed under a unified command structure between the North Carolina Forest Service and the US Forest Service.
General fire information:
Safety of the public and firefighters is always the number-one priority when dealing with wildfires.
Firefighters are using direct and indirect tactics under a full suppression objective
Minimum impact suppression tactics will be used to protect all wilderness and resource values
Smoke may be visible in the surrounding area for several days