Press release from National Forests in North Carolina:
The Dobson Knob Fire increased to 1,467 acres and containment is now 40%. Today’s operations include patrolling and extinguishing remaining hotspots near established containment lines on the western, northern and eastern sides of the fire. Burnout operations are planned to the south and will result in more visible smoke. A structure protection presence will continue in the Ashford and North Cove communities.The weather forecast calls for the holiday weekend to be warm and dry leading to a continued drying of available fuels that are feeding the fire. Relief may come next week in the form of showers and thunderstorms. Successive rain events are needed to adequately wet forest fuels to the benefit of firefighters battling the blaze.A light wind shift to the south will create the potential for smoke to drift north of the fire. Smoke could settle into communities today and particularly this evening when temperatures cool. A Code Orange Air Quality Action Day has been issued for McDowell, Burke, Mitchell, and Avery Counties. More information on local air quality and measures to avoid smoke exposure can be found on the Division of Air Quality website at www.ncdenr.org/aq/ForecastCenter.Trail closures continue in the fire area, including a portion of the Mountains to Sea Trail along the eastern and southeastern edges of the fire. National Forest trail and forest road closures can be found on the National Forests in North Carolina website at www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.Additional personnel and equipment resources have been brought in to fight the fire. The number of personnel assigned to the fire has increased to 213. Federal and State resources available for today’s operations include three helicopters and a scout plane.Additional fire information can be found on INCIWEB (inciweb.nwcg.gov/).