Table Rock Fire Update for Sunday, Nov. 24: Table Rock Fire in Linville Gorge 90 Percent Contained

Published Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm
map

Map of fire as of 11-21-2013.

Compiled by Jesse Wood

Operational Control of Table Rock Fire To Return to the Grandfather Range District, All Closures Lifted

Summary:  2,579 acres; 90% contained; 113 personnel; Start Date: 11-12-2013

Nov. 25, 2013. Due to successful firefighting efforts and wet weather, the Table Rock Fire is approaching containment. Tomorrow morning, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, command of the fire will transfer from the Southern Area Type 2 Team back to the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. 

Type 2 Initial attack- BIA Oklahoma Hand Crew

Type 2 Initial attack- BIA Oklahoma Hand Crew

All US Forest Service roads and trails under the Forest Closure Order are now open, including Table Rock Picnic Area.  Today is opening day of rifle deer season.  The weather forecast predicts below freezing temperatures.  Hunters and others using the Linville Gorge area are reminded to use standard safety measures with campfires.  Make sure campfires are “dead out” before leaving them.

On Sunday, November 24 the Table Rock Fire continued to show very low fire or smoke activity.  However, reduced humidity, stronger winds, and sunshine resulted in isolated fire activity in some areas of Chimney Creek.  Due to the inaccessibility of the area, a helicopter was used to extinguish the hot spots with water drops. Until significant rain arrives, expect that other hotspots could flare up.  Efforts will continue on the rehabilitation of the fire line.  Table Rock Fire will be monitored during the day for new fire activity.

Monday winds will decrease to 4-7mph gusting to 12mph.  Wind direction will shift coming from the south southeast. Relative humidity will be 20 to 30 percent. Temperatures will be around 18 degrees F in the morning.  Rain and freezing rain are expectedMonday night into early Tuesday.  

Fire traffic will continue to be seen on roads. Crews are still actively commuting between the base camp at Catawba Meadows Park and the fire line. Drive with caution.

The Table Rock wildfire which started November 12th is located in Linville Gorge on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.

To see prior stories and photos of ‘Table Rock Fire, including an image of a person of interest sought in connection to Linville Gorge fire, click HERE and HERE

 

Fire Activity Low, Winds Increase and Temperatures Decrease; Gorge is Open for Deer Rifle Hunting Season

Nov. 24, 2013. Summary:  

– 2,579 acres
– 80% contained
– 159 personnel
– Start Date: 11-12-2013

Suppression efforts continued on Saturday, Nov. 23.  As a result of previous operations and weather, low fire or smoke activity was present.  Mop-up and rehabilitation work have been completed at the Outward Bound Center and the Table Rock Picnic area.  The area remains closed to the public. (It opened for hunting season on Monday, Nov. 25.) Efforts will continue on the rehabilitation of the other sections of the fire line.

Over the next week the Table Rock Fire area will be experiencing changing weather conditions.  Today will have winds from the NW from 12-16 mph decreasing to 8-12 mph. Firefighters will need to be especially vigilant for hazard trees due to the increased wind. Relative humidity will be deceasing throughout the day in the 19-24% range.  With these weather conditions fire danger will be high.  The colder temperatures in combination with the strong winds will produce wind chill values as low as 0 degrees F this morning.  Rain and freezing rain are expected Tuesday.  Rain is predicted throughWednesday.

The Temporary Flight Restriction over the Table Rock Fire has been lifted this morning.

With the opening of rifle deer season on Monday, Nov. 25, hunters are reminded to check the National Forests in North Carolina web page (above) for current closure information.  Be sure to check the web site before making plans to enter the Linville Gorge area. Currently, this area remains closed. Cold weather and hunting season often means campfires.  Be sure to use standard safety measures with fire.  Make sure camp fires are “dead out” before leaving them.

Traffic alerts continue.  Firefighters continue to move to and from the fire, and there is a chance of low visibility due to smoke.  Current weather conditions add another level of risk for drivers in the area.   Drivers are encouraged to remain alert and drive slowly.

The Table Rock wildfire which started November 12th is located in Linville Gorge on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.

Table Rock Fire Update: Firefighters Take Advantage of Favorable Weather To Extinguish Hotspots in Gorge

Nov. 22, 2013. Firefighters began rehabilitation efforts today on sections of the ‘Table Rock Fire’ in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area that are considered controlled.  This includes reseeding and using bulldozers outside the wilderness area to build water bars to reduce the chance of erosion. Hand crews will also be doing similar work in areas inaccessible to dozers.

The fire that started around Veterans Day has grown to 2,579 acres. The fire is 60 percent contained, and 207 personnel have been assigned to help extinguish the ‘Table Rock Fire.’

The success of the small burnout operation on November 20 in removing most of the fuels from the 100-acre block has reduced the opportunity for the fire to spread to the south and west sides of Linville Gorge.  Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire for hotspots.   Using water and hand tools firefighters will extinguish any hotspot near the fire line.  

Due to favorable weather conditions the Table Rock Fire is expected to have little activity today.  The prediction of light winds and much higher humidity for the next day will limit the potential for the fire growth.   A strong cold front will move through Saturday morning with sharply colder temperatures, very windy conditions, and much lower humidity levels through Sunday. 

Report on the Community Meeting.  A community meeting was held at the Jonas Ridge Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department last night November 21, at 06:00pm.  The meeting was organized by the Grandfather Ranger District with the assistance of the Southern Area Type 2 Team to provide information about how decisions are made relating to fire suppression and to allow the public to ask questions about the firefighting operation on the Table Rock Fire. Approximately 55 people attended the community meeting.

The Southern Area Type 2 Team appreciates patience of the local community during this incident.  People driving through the area should be alert for fire traffic.  To date, the team has had an excellent safety record.  Even with low fire activity, crews are still actively commuting between the base camp at Catawba Meadows Park and the fire line.  With continued chance of fog development and smoke, there is always the risk of reduced visibility.   

Monday is opening day for rifle deer season.  Hunters are reminded to check the web page for National Forests in North Carolina (above) for current closure information. 

The Table Rock wildfire, which started November 12th, is located in Linville Gorge on Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

To see prior stories and photos of ‘Table Rock Fire, including an image of a person of interest sought in connection to Linville Gorge fire, click HERE

More Lynn Willis Photos of the ‘Table Rock Fire:

Lynn Willis spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning on the rim of the Linville Gorge, capturing photos of the last remaining hotspot of the fire and lingering smoke in the gorge. After a few words from Willis are his photos: 

“The night shots were from the Southern part of the gorge, across from Shortoff Mountain and the the two black and white photos are from Wiseman’s View yesterday. The flames are fortunately all gone, remaining is the lingering smoke from a few pockets of hot spots down in the ravines. This made for a view you don’t see when the fog is in the gorge, a different look with the smoke. 

“I watched the helicopter do multiple sweeps yesterday morning, scanning the terrain to get the  infrared imaging to detect any remaining heat. The winds were strong in the gorge and the smoke made for some horrible air quality. I was never afforded a view to what has burned, so it will be interesting to see how it all looks after the smoke is gone! Hats off to all the fire fighters for all their hard work in this challenging terrain.”

Willis is the studio manager for Mast General Stores and a freelance photographer specializing in outdoor adventure sports and landscapes of the Southern Appalachians.

To see more of Lynn Willis’ photos, click to his website at www.LynnWillis.com. To see his prior photos of the Linville Gorge in flames, click here

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The “Table Rock Fire” in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. See more photos at the bottom of this post. Photo by Lynn Willis/www.LynnWillis.com

 

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The “Table Rock Fire” in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. See more photos at the bottom of this post. Photo by Lynn Willis/www.LynnWillis.com

 

 The "Table Rock Fire" in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. See more photos at the bottom of this post. Photo by Lynn Willis/www.LynnWillis.com

The “Table Rock Fire” in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. See more photos at the bottom of this post. Photo by Lynn Willis/www.LynnWillis.com

 

willis_nov21_DSC5452

The “Table Rock Fire” in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. See more photos at the bottom of this post. Photo by Lynn Willis/www.LynnWillis.com

 

willis_nov21_DSC5561

The “Table Rock Fire” in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. See more photos at the bottom of this post. Photo by Lynn Willis/www.LynnWillis.com

 

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The “Table Rock Fire” in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. See more photos at the bottom of this post. Photo by Lynn Willis/www.LynnWillis.com

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