NC firefighters benefit from continued rain, cooler weather as wildfires burn

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Fire in NC Mountains on November 6, 2023 (Photo: WSPA/ CBS News)

HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — Continued, light rainfall across areas of Western North Carolina from Friday night into Saturday morning is helping firefighters keep containment lines on several wildfires.

Poplar Drive Fire, Henderson County, N.C.

As of Saturday, November 11, officials say the Poplar Brush Fire is 50 percent contained.

A State of Emergency has been declared in Henderson County, North Carolina, due to a brush fire that has affected more than 400 acres so far.

“Firefighters will continue to benefit from the rain and cooler temperatures to work aggressively on mop-up operations, strengthen containment lines with dozer equipment and hand crews, and press further into the smoldering areas of the fire,” the NC Forest Service said.

One home, two cabins and three outbuildings have been lost, while another home sustained damage. Area homes remain threatened, and N.C. Forest Service personnel, county fire department and sheriff’s office staff are continually assessing the needs of those structures. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Two firefighters sustained minor injuries and both were treated and released. Four minor motor vehicle accidents have been reported with no injuries.

Collett Ridge Fire, Cherokee County, N.C.

The Collett Ridge Fire, burning in Cherokee County, continues growing even with some rain and cooler weather coming into the mountains. The U.S. Forest Service says as of Saturday morning, the fire has burned about 5,335 acres with 15% containment.

The Forest Service says Friday’s cooler temperatures and cloud coverage did help moderate fire behavior. On Saturday, firefighters will continue to build and improve containment lines in the area of Snider’s Creek Road and McClellan Road to the northwest of the fire. Engines remained on scene throughout the night to provide point protection for structures. Crews will patrol near the communities of Bolden Branch and Lord’s Way and perform mop-up operations, such as extinguishing any lingering hotspots, as needed.

Burn bans remain in place

The North Carolina Forest Service’s burn ban for all of Western North Carolina counties remains in effect. This includes: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Caldwell, Catawba, Haywood, Iredell, Lincoln, Madison, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain and Transylvania counties.