MARS HILL, N.C., April 28, 2016 - Rainfall provided relief for firefighting efforts on the Silver Mine Fire burning near Hot Springs, NC. An estimated .75 inch rain fell in the area on Wednesday. Before the rain, the fire had burned to 5,300 acres within the containment lines. The fire is now 90% contained. Fire managers estimate that the final acreage could be close to 6,000 acres.
The rain has helped reduce burning to the extent that firefighters have begun working with representatives of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to evaluate trail conditions and plan the work needed to prepare the trail for reopening. However, the Appalachian Trail will remain closed until safety concerns are addressed and the fire is fully contained.