Firefighters have fully contained the Hiwassee River Fire near Lake Appalachia Dam in Cherokee County. The Hiwassee River Fire was reported on Sunday afternoon and is burning in a steep area near Lake Appalachia, on both US Forest Service and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lands. The Hiwassee River Fire remained at 80 acres and is now 100% contained.
Firefighters worked yesterday to complete burnout operations. Burn out operations helped to contain the fire by consuming the unburned fuel between the active fire and the control lines. Approximately 12 firefighters from the US Forest Service are on scene today to monitor the fire area and extinguish any remaining hot spots near the fire lines.
Weather conditions are favorable today for firefighters to finish operations, with cloudy conditions and higher humidity. No additional fire behavior is expected. Unless conditions change, this will be the last update for the Hiwassee River Fire.
While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, it is suspected to be arson. If you see something, say something. If you know of someone deliberately setting fires, call 911. We are in spring wildfire season. Fire danger is expected to remain high across Western North Carolina this week.
Due to these extended hazardous fire conditions, the North Carolina Forest Service issued a ban on all open burning for 32 Western North Carolina counties. The burning ban went into effect on April 3, and will remain in effect until further notice. For more information, visit https://ncforestservice.gov/news_pubs/newsdesk_2020.htm.
The US Forest Service urges the public to practice caution as they visit the national forests. Visitors are asked to follow guidance under the burn ban and consider postponing their camping trips.
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