Above: Local residents keep an eye on the Dicks Creek Fire near Sylva in western North Carolina. Photo by Jason Farmer, The Sylva Herald.
Most areas in the southeast United States have not received any significant rain in dozens of days. It has been more than 70 days for some locations in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina. This has resulted in many wildfires breaking out in recent weeks.
Currently there are 38 active fires in the Southern Geographic area that have each burned more than 100 acres, prompting the Southern Area Coordination Center to raise the preparedness level as high as it will go, to Level 5, something that does not happen very often.
Large numbers of firefighting resources have moved into the south to help combat the blazes. The figures below include those that were en route, committed, or staged in the area as of Monday morning.
- 5 Incident Management Teams (2 Type 1 and 3 Type 2)
- 56 hand crews (8 Type 1, 22 Type 2, and 26 fire suppression modules)
- 5 air tankers (3 large, and 2 Single Engine Air Tankers)
- 29 helicopters (9 Type 1, 4 Type 2, and 16 Type 3)
- 1,632 Overhead personnel
The audio in the video below is an interview with Mike Dueitt, the Incident Commander of a Type 1 Incident Management Team from the Southern Geographic Area currently managing multiple wildfires in North Carolina. The images in the video were taken October 24 through November 6, 2016.
These still photos were taken at or near the 532-acre Dicks Creek Fire, which is about 1.5 miles northwest of Sylva, North Carolina. They were all shot by Jason Farmer of the Sylva Herald. About 31 structures are threatened by the fire, which is being fought by 59 personnel.