MAGGIE VALLEY, NC (WSPA) – Evacuations were ordered Monday for some homes in Haywood County due to a wildfire near Maggie Valley.
UPDATE (4/5): Haywood County Emergency Services said the fire is 30% contained, and approximately 200 acres of land were affected. No injuries or property damage have been reported as of Tuesday morning.
No new evacuations have been ordered.
This is a 7NEWS update. The previous version can bee seen below:
An over 50-acre wildfire broke out on Sheepback Mountain. The North Carolina Forest Service said the fire is zero percent contained as of 5:20pm.
Around 17 homes were threatened by the fire Monday evening. Only around one-third of the homes were occupied at the time of the evacuations.
Allison Richmond, with Haywood County, said they have crews keeping a close eye.
“So, we have crews assigned to each of those properties, as fire comes near, they’re protecting those properties one by one, as needed,” said Richmond.
Richmond said they do not yet know the origin of the fire, but crews are prepared, and will be working through the night.
“We start with ground crews and brush crews, that are experienced crews in fighting wildland, or outside, fires. They come in on the ground and start their work immediately to begin to assess. Then, we ask for air support to help us observe where they fire’s at and where it’s moving,” she said.
Once air support decides the best place to dump water, Richmond said they bring in air tankers and helicopters.
“So, they’re constantly moving in a cycle of dropping water in the most concerning areas,” she said.
Richmond said the cooler temperatures and potential rain will help crews.
Brenda Mancuso lives on the mountain.
“I mean, it’s pretty terrifying to think I have the potential of losing everything that I own,” said Mancuso.
She said the first thing she did was get her animals to safety.
“Immediately when I saw the fire, I was coming home, I thought it was the other mountain was on the fire. Then I realized, oh my gosh, it’s my mountain,” she said.
Mancuso said she hasn’t been allowed back up the mountain.
Richmond said they’re asking everyone in the area to not have any outdoor fires, to help crews, and to not call 911 unless their homes or property are being impacted.
A reunification center and shelter has been set up at Calvary Road Baptist Church in Maggie Valley.
Officials said 10 fire departments along with the North Carolina Forest Service have responded to the fire.