The wildfires that ripped through the mountains last week are now mostly under control, but as of Tuesday afternoon, April 5, fire danger remained high in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee — even as the first drops of rain from a large system headed north began to blanket the region.
Sylva Fire Department is requesting funding from Jackson County for the salary of additional paid personnel in the split paid, volunteer fire department. At a March 10 commissioners meeting, Sylva fire chief Mike Beck made his case.
A month ago, Haywood Emergency Medical Services Director Travis Donaldson pleaded with Haywood County commissioners to adjust schedules and raise staffing levels. Last Monday, commissioners gave Donaldson what he’d been asking for, in a unanimous vote.
A comprehensive assessment of Haywood Emergency Management Services completed in 2019 suggested that aggressive shift schedules put employees at greater risk for sleep disorders, PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide.
When Chad Seger was reported missing on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, the Haywood County Rescue Squad’s Wilderness Search and Rescue Team deployed immediately to seek the 27-year-old Asheville man in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area. But even with rescue crews from across the region joining the effort, day after day went by with no sign of Seger.
It’s late Friday morning. With cloudy skies above and a cool breeze swirling around her, Aubrey Ford gazes out onto what’s left of her front yard and the multiple homes on her family’s property following the raging floodwaters Tuesday night. She lights a cigarette and exhales with a sigh.
It’s about a mile past Jukebox Junction, down along U.S. 276 heading towards the small mountain community of Cruso, when the strong, pungent smell of mud wafts into the open truck windows and up through your nostrils.
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