Fire destroys Kituwah LLC building

Update: According to Interim Fire Chief Thomas Simmons, the fire's cause has been deterimined to be accidental, due to an appliance left on in the building. The appliance is not yet being named, as the department is waiting for engineers to make a final determination.

Kituwah LLC CEO Mark Hubble was just going back to sleep after a night in the emergency room when his phone rang. The headquarters for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ multi-million-dollar business arm was on fire.

Fire destroys Kituwah LLC building

The Kituwah LLC building has been destroyed in a fire that started during the early morning hours of Thursday, Dec. 15.

More than 1,000 acres burning mountain region

High winds over the weekend felled trees and downed power lines, sparking a wildfire that now covers 950 acres straddling the jurisdictional line between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Swain County. Meanwhile, a fire in the Cherokee National Forest near the state line is now burning 180 acres.

N.C. now under burn ban

Open burning is banned in North Carolina until further notice as a wildfire rages at Pilot Mountain State Park near Winston-Salem. 

Statewide wildfire response drill comes to Haywood

In the midst of an exceptionally warm, dry winter, a wildfire erupted on Mount Lyn Lowry. About 170 acres when first reported to 911 at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 18, within two days the fire had destroyed roughly 60 homes and ballooned to an estimated 2,500 acres — and growing. 

Tracing the fire’s path

Now that the wildfires that ravaged Western North Carolina a couple of months ago are no longer active, U.S. Forest Service officials are beginning to assess the aftermath damages and create a plan of action for the spring. 

• Wildfire impacts range from barely there to complete char, but true effects remain to be seen
• FAQ: The effects of WNC’s 2016 fire season

Five fires burn the Nantahala

Fire season is just beginning, but already five fires are lighting up the Nantahala National Forest. About 130 people are busy battling the blazes, with crews coming from as far as Alaska to help with the firefighting efforts.

Forest fires ignite the Nantahala as drought worsens

Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins was headed to church Sunday morning, Oct. 23, when he got the call. A forest fire had ignited the Dicks Creek area of the Nantahala National Forest, near Sylva. Fire Management Officer Greg Brooks was already on the scene, and the response had to start ASAP.  

“I was walking out the door, literally on the porch,” Wilkins said. He turned himself around, changed out of his Sunday best and drove out to meet Brooks, sizing up the challenge set before them.

Flying a drone near a wildfire is illegal

Firefighters on the Dicks Creek Fire near Sylva have reported drone activity near the fire.

Forest fire spreads to 374 acres in Jackson County

Smoke is clouding the Sylva area following the eruption of a wildfire Sunday, Oct. 23, which grew to about 374 acres by Tuesday morning, Oct. 24. Take a drive along U.S. 74, and you’re likely to feel an itch in your throat from the smoke. Look for a mountain view, and the slopes ahead will appear covered by a gauzy haze.

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