Incident involved appx 375 acres (MapTech Software plotting), 31structures endangered, 29 Fire Departments, appx 300 Firefighters, 61 pieces of fire apparatus (not including NC Forest Service vehicles), 1 Helicopter, 1 spotter plane and 1 air tanker (CL215). Figures include all information for different Operational Periods.
This incident happened on 4-11-1999 at 4:20 in the afternoon. Started from a person burning debris, the fire spread into the woods at a fast rate. The Christian Creek area is steep containing a mixture of fuel such as leaf litter, laurel bushes, pines and hardwoods.
Weather conditions had low humidities, moderate temperature but a cold front moving through, creating erratic winds throughout the fire.
Smoke conditions in the area made accurate size-up difficult. The first hand crew began initial attack on the left flank. The crew reported back that they thought they were at the head of the fire, however it was the head of a large finger and the main body of fire was moving in a direction that could not be noted from other access areas. The convection column from that finger was rising about 1,500 feet into the air.
Initially, wind direction was in our favor but we began to notice the top of the convection column curl back towards the direction of the intial attack crew. Command called for the crew to evacuate that position several times but the crew had already noted the dramatic wind change and behavior of the fire and was retreating out the escape route to the safety zone. When the crew arrived at the house (at the point of origin), 1 firefighter had singed hair that was sticking out from the bottom of his fire helmet. All were in wildland nomex protective clothing and felt lucky to get out without injury.
Due to the erratic fire behavior and conditions, all efforts focused towards structure protection. Mutual Aid departments were already requested and responding. New scouting reports indicated that the fire had spread farther up the mountain than expected due to intense spotting. The first arriving Mutual Aid Company was the Black Mountain FD with E42 (CAFS capable), which was assigned to protect a structure known as the Rondette (a round house). When they arrived at that structure and began hasty preparations, one area of the fire started making a fast run in a drainage with thick Laurel to their left. The flames lengths covered the entire road behind them and spread to the other side.
Due to fire conditions, even roads and dozer lines put in by the Forest Service were overun during the height of the fire. In all, there was no damage to structures because of efforts and abilities of all involved. One civilian vehicle, in the path of the fire, was burned. Special thanks to Black Mountain FD and other agencies for their expertise on the structures they protected which would have been lost for sure without the proper Urban- Interface knowledge.
Swannanoa, Black Mountain, Riceville, Asheville, Barnardsville, Enka, Fairview, French Broad, Haw Creek, Jupiter, Leicester, Reems Creek, Reynolds, Skyland, Upper Hominy, Weaverville, West Buncombe, Woodfin, Garren Creek, Broad River, Asheville Area Rescue Squad, Buncombe County EMS & Emergency Management, NC Forest Service D1
Old Fort, Woodlawn-Sevier, Glenwood
Blue Ridge, Valley Hill, Mountain Home
Ebbs Chapel, Mars Hill
Food eaten in the first day
80 Burgers, 50 Roast Beef, 80 pieces of chicken, 80 biscuits, 10 Large pizzas, 5 orders of breadsticks, 10 12" subs, 4 gallons of BBQ beans, 4 gallons of slaw, 25 BBQ sandwiches, 300 cheese sandwiches, 10 gallons of tea, around 50 gallons of drinking water and large amount of gatorade and various other drinks. Thanks to Perry's BBQ & Subway from Swannanoa, KFC, McDonald's and Pizza Hut of Black Mountain, Popeye's and Arby's of
.pdf of Flat Top Weather station, temps and precip