Horton Fire 100% Contained, Burning Ban Lifted (2016-12-05 12:31:05)

As of Friday, the Horton Fire was at 100 percent containment.

The fire burned 1450 acres and there were no injuries sustained by firefighters during the incident. Command of the fire was returned to local management on Saturday, and local firefighters will monitor the area until it reaches full controlled status. Additional rainfall over the weekend helped with hotspots, however there could still be some areas of smoke visible, but should not be a threat.
The North Carolina Forest Service says recent rains have reduced fire danger in the west and as a result, have lifted the burning ban in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties.

The ban remains in effect in a number of Piedmont counties.

Boone Assistant Fire Chief Mike Teague told High Country Radio News Saturday morning that the Town Of Boone has lifted the ban on recreational fires such as fire pits and portable fire pits, and ornamental fires such as tiki torches. However, Teague reminds residents that the Town of Boone does not allow burning of brush and debris in the town limits and that residents can arrange with the town for pick up of brush. Teague says that even though the ban has been lifted, and recent rains have improved the situation, there is still a danger that a fire can quickly get out of hand, and that folks should still be very cautious. He pointed out there is still a lot of piled up fuel from storms and tree falls and that everyone should be very careful with any fire. 

In Tennessee, the death toll from fires in the Gatlinburg area as of Sunday has increased to 14, according to National Park Service spokeswoman Dana Soehn. City officials are now allowing property owners and renters to return to their homes and businesses between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, officials now estimate 1,684 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fires, and at least 134 people have sustained injuries. Nearly an inch of rain fell in the mountains as of Sunday afternoon, helping to suppress the blazes that continue to burn in the mountains. The Chimney Tops fire, which spans 17,006 acres, was listed at 38 percent contained Sunday morning. The nearby Cobbly Nob fire covers 803 acres and is listed as 41 percent contained.