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Cherokee County officials hoping for significant rainfall as Collett Ridge fire continues to burn Sunday

UPDATE (November 12th): While acreage remains the same, the US Forest Service now says the Collett Ridge fire is 18% contained.   The H

UPDATE (November 12th): While acreage remains the same, the US Forest Service now says the Collett Ridge fire is 18% contained.


The Hiwassee Dam Fire Department says there has not been enough rain to put the fire out, and that the fire is still smoldering and making “creeping progress.”


There is still a high risk in the area as dry conditions are expected to carry on for the next several days.

UPDATE (November 11th): Despite some rain and cooler weather, the Collett Ridge fire continues growing.


The fire has now burned about 5,335 acres with 15% containment, the U.S. Forest Service said Saturday morning.


On Saturday, firefighters will continue to build containment lines in the Snider’s Creek Road and McClellan Road area.


Crews will patrol near the communities of Bolden Branch and Lord’s Way.


Until sufficient rain occurs, officials say fire activity and growth are expected to continue, with areas of heavy fuels potentially causing flareups.



Flames continue to burn Friday evening in Cherokee county, North Carolina.


Officials fear the fire will continue to grow if significant rain doesn’t fall soon.


The wildfire started in Andrews, North Carolina started about 3 weeks ago.


Hundreds of firefighters have walked hundreds of miles to slow down the spread.


But one resident living right below the flames says she finally feels relief.


“I can sleep at night because I know they’re out there doing their job. But just seeing it that close to my neighbor’s house, its an experience,” says Robbi Pounds.

This picture shows the house right next door to resident Robbi Pounds early Thursday evening:


“Everything I own still smells like smoke. I mean, everything, from my house cats to, my toothbrush, everything,” says Pounds.

Despite light rain, increased clouds, and higher humidity, fire activity and growth are expected to continue in the Collett Ridge fire until sufficient rain occurs.


“What we are really kind of missing is that added precipitation, because we’re only really expecting maybe 1/10 to 2/10 of an inch,” says Adrianne Rubiaco with the US Forest Service.

The wildfire has given Pounds a new perspective on her everyday “norms.”


“I normally don’t go to the doctor on Friday morning. I normally don’t have air purifiers in my house, I normally don’t wear a mask outside,” she says.

Friday morning, the fire increased to over 5,000 acres at 5% containment.


“We do still have firefighters on the scene in those communities, providing structure protection and preparation by clearing all that leafy debris from around them,” says Rubiaco.

The U.S. Forest Service is asking the public to clear debris from around their homes and stay off the roads if possible.