Alerts & Notices

MARS HILL, N.C., May 4, 2016 - Fire officials declared the Silver Mine Fire near Hot Springs, NC fully contained today, at a final size of 5,964 acres. 

Additional rainfall over the weekend extinguished hot spots in the fire area. Interior fuels within the containment lines may continue to smolder over the next several days, but pose no risk to the lines. Crews will continue to patrol the fire area and work on fire line repair as weather permits. 

In addition to the continuing efforts on fire line repair, specialists with the Forest Service will provide monitoring or active restoration to protect water quality and forest health from any long term effects. Restoration efforts will focus on areas where the fire burned with high intensity that may be at risk for increased erosion or invasion by non-native plants. Areas that burned with low to moderate intensity may see benefits over time, including increased forage for wildlife. 

All trails in the area are open. While the trails are open for passage through the area, hikers are advised to stay on the trail and not to camp or linger in the burn area because hazards may still exist. Hazards may include fire weakened trees, stump holes, and dislodged logs or rocks. The following Forest Service Roads (FSR) will remain closed to the public until fire line repair work is completed:

  • Hurricane Gap Rd (NC-FSR467 / TN-FSR31 (Cherokee NF))
  • Mill Ridge Rd (NC-FSR113)
  • Shad Rd (TN-FSR422 (Cherokee NF))

The Silver Mine Fire was reported on Thursday, April 21, in Madison County, just east of Hot Springs, NC. The fire quickly grew to 2,500 acres overnight, threatening multiple structures. Luckily, rain moved into the area on Friday, April 22, reducing fire behavior but not fully extinguishing the flames. Firefighters conducted burn out operations to secure containment lines the week of April 25, which increased the total acreage to near 6,000 acres. The fire was determined to be human caused, but the exact cause remains under investigation. 

Firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service, North Carolina Forest Service, local Volunteer Fire Departments, and North Carolina Emergency Management assisted in suppression of the fire. At the height of firefighting efforts, there were 179 personnel on the ground, including crews from all over the Southeast and as far away as Arizona. 

The Forest Service would like to extend its gratitude to all those involved in the Silver Mine Fire, including firefighters, emergency response personnel, and residents and officials in the Town of Hot Springs. 



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