2017 ends with slim wildfire count

In sharp contrast to the blazing wildfire season of fall 2016, December 2017 drew to a close with only one fire over 1 acre reported in the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest.

The Coxes Creek No. 7 Fire was reported at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, in the Pisgah National Forest north of Marion in McDowell County. Crews responded swiftly, with the fire growing to 158 acres — 30 acres on private land and 128 on national forest land — before being declared officially out Dec. 30. The U.S. Forest Service managed the fire in coordination with the N.C. Forest Service, McDowell County Emergency Management and local volunteer fire departments.

The Forest Service also responded to the following fires in fall 2017:

Oct. 25: Cabin Trail Fire on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. Final size was 0.35 acres.

Nov. 22: Tatham Gap Fire on the Tusquitee Ranger District of the Nantahala National Forest. Final size was 0.1 acres.

Nov. 26: Half Timber Fire on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. Final size was 1 acre.

Nov. 28: Skeenah Gap Fire on the Nantahala Ranger District of the Nantahala National Forest. Final size was 1 acre.

Wildfires are common in the springtime as well as in the fall. The spring 2017 wildfire season was about average for the area.

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