The Southern Area Gold Team and the North Carolina Forest Service are now in unified command, managing both the Bald Knob and Wolf Creek Fires. Yesterday was the first day of full management of the incidents under this command. Both the Bald Knob Fire (confirmed lightning start on July 17th) and Wolf Creek Fire (likely lightning start on July 31st) started on the Pisgah National Forest. The cause of the fire was likely lightning, although the ignition source remains unconfirmed.
The team will continue to use a “confine and contain” strategy to manage both fires for multiple objectives. Limited access, rough terrain and heavy fuel loading make direct access unviable for firefighters on the Bald Knob Fire. Firefighter crews will work to construct and enforce fire lines using dozers and hand crews where they have access.
The Wolf Creek fire is 305 acres in size, and is 60% contained. 35 firefighters are working on this wildfire.
A temporary closure of a section of the Mountains to Sea Trail between the footbridge over the North Fork of the Catawba River and Dobson Knob Road (Forest Service Road 106) remains in place.
Heartbreak Ridge Trail (208) and Star Gap Trail (209) remain closed to public use and will be in effect until further notice. Jarrett Creek Road (FS4030) is also closed to public use. Forest Service officials are asking the public to avoid this area for their own safety and the safety of emergency response personnel on scene.