UPDATED: Firefighters respond to two wildfires in Cherokee County Murphy, NC

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Updated April 1, 2020

Firefighters control wildfires in Cherokee County Murphy, NC,

Helped out by significant rainfall this morning, firefighters have fully controlled two fires that were burning along Tatham Gap Road in Cherokee County, near Andrews, NC. The Tatham Gap Road Fire burned 32 acres on private property. The Spread Eagle Fire burned 27.5 acres on US Forest Service property on the Nantahala National Forest Tusquitee Ranger District. The fires, which were reported over the weekend, were initially estimated at 40 acres each. More accurate mapping allowed managers to refine their sizes. Approximately 10 firefighters from the US Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service are continuing to monitor the fire areas. While the cause of the fire is under investigation, it is suspected to be arson. If you see something, say something. If you know of someone deliberately setting fires, call 911. The public is urged to be extra vigilant with fires as we move into the spring wildfire season. Spring wildfire season typically lasts from mid-March to mid-May. Even with recent rain events, we can experience high fire danger after 2-3 days of dry conditions. N.C. Forest Service officials urge citizens to reconsider burning yard debris through the end of May, which historically marks the end of spring wildfire season in North Carolina. Consider alternatives to burning. For more information visit: https://ncforestservice.gov/news_pubs/newsdesk_2020.htm#2020327 Additionally, the National Forests are experiencing higher than usual visitation, especially an increase in dispersed camping. Consider postponing your camping trip. If you do camp, consider using cooking stoves instead of campfires. If you do use a campfire, make sure it is out and cold before leaving your campsite. Stay up to date on current national forest closures at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/currentclosures


Two fires are burning along Tatham Gap Road in Cherokee County, near Andrews, NC. Firefighters are working to suppress both fires, which were reported over the weekend. The Tatham Gap Road Fire is burning on private property and is approximately 40 acres in size. The Spread Eagle Fire is burning on US Forest Service property on the Nantahala National Forest Tusquitee Ranger District and is also approximately 40 acres in size.

Approximately 40 firefighters from the US Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service are responding. A helicopter is being used to perform water drops to slow the spread of the fire. While the cause of the fire is under investigation, it is suspected to be arson. If you see something, say something.

If you know of someone deliberately setting fires, call 911. The public is urged to be extra vigilant with fires as we move into the spring wildfire season. Spring wildfire season typically lasts from mid-March to mid-May. Even with recent rain events, we can experience high fire danger after 2-3 days of dry conditions. 

N.C. Forest Service officials urge citizens to reconsider burning yard debris through the end of May, which historically marks the end of spring wildfire season in North Carolina. Consider alternatives to burning. For more information visit: https://ncforestservice.gov/news_pubs/newsdesk_2020.htm#2020327 

Additionally, the National Forests are experiencing higher than usual visitation, especially an increase in dispersed camping. Consider postponing your camping trip. If you do camp, consider using cooking stoves instead of campfires. If you do use a campfire, make sure it is out and cold before leaving your campsite. Stay up to date on current national forest closures at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/currentclosures

Review the National Forests in North Carolina website for updates and more information at www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nfsnc, and on Twitter at twitter.com/NFsNCarolina.

Photo of a strong fire spreading in gusts of wind through dry grass from Getty Images

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