Alerts & Notices

MARS HILL, N.C., April 27, 2016 – Firefighters have successfully completed burn out operations on the Silver Mine Fire near Hot Springs, NC, improving containment to 60%. As expected, the burned acreage increased to 5,000 acres within containment lines.

Smoke from the fire can be expected over the next few days and may settle in low areas overnight. Winds are expected to carry smoke to the northeast this evening. Smoke is expected to concentrate in and near Hot Springs tonight and tomorrow morning. The public may continue to see and smell smoke from the fire between Hot Springs and Asheville.

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has issued a code orange air quality alert for Madison County due to lingering smoke from the fire. The alert will remain in effect until midnight Thursday. The public should be cautious when traveling in the area, particularly using headlights when smoke is present. Smoke sensitive individuals should take appropriate precautions.

Burn out operations are being used to secure containment lines by removing the remaining fuels between the wildfire and the lines. Ground crews are using drip torches to hand-ignite areas near the lines, and a helicopter is being used to ignite interior areas in order to help the burn progress.

The following roads and trails remain closed:

  • Appalachian Trail from Town of Hot Springs to Hurricane Gap
  • Roundtop Ridge Trail (#295)
  • Lovers Leap Loop Trail (#308)
  • Pump Gap Trail (#309)
  • Hurricane Gap Rd (NC-FSR467 / TN-FSR31 (Cherokee NF))
  • Mill Ridge Rd (NC-FSR113)
  • Shad Rd (TN-FSR422 (Cherokee NF))

The public is asked to heed signs posted at roads and trailheads and to stay away from fire areas and closed trails. Information on alternate access points to the Appalachian Trail is available from multiple sources in Hot Springs, as well as online at

Firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service, North Carolina Forest Service, local Volunteer Fire Departments, and North Carolina Emergency Management are assisting in suppression efforts. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Media note: Public Information Officer Bruce MacDonald is on scene in Hot Springs providing support. He can be reached at 828-713-4096


  • Containment Increases to 60% on Hot Springs Fire
  • Containment Increases to 40% on Hot Springs Fire
  • Wildfire Burning Southeast of Franklin, NC
  • Wildfires Along Tennessee / North Carolina State Line Impacting Western NC
  • Fire Danger High Across North Carolina
  • Road Closures on the Pisgah Ranger District due to Timber Harvest Operations
  • 100% Containment on Fire North of Ridgecrest, NC
  • Black Bears in Graveyard Fields and Shining Rock Wilderness Vicinity

View More Alerts