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Collett Ridge Fire in Murphy grows to 90 acres


Murphy, NC, October 27, 2023—The lightning-caused Collett Ridge Fire is 90 acres in size and remains at 0% containment due to the rugged terrain and limited accessibility. The U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service are managing the fire under unified command. location

“The safety of our firefighters and the public is our first priority,” stated David Ilse, Acting District Ranger for the Cheoah-Tusquitee Ranger District. “We are using aerial resources and are working to place crews safely on the ground.”

The fire started on top of Collett Ridge on October 23rd and has been backing down the ridge to the north. Thursday’s fire behavior was minimal due to the cloud cover and higher relative humidity over the fire area. The fire grew on the northwest corner with backing fire with 6-inch flame length.

Yesterday, firefighting crews scouted the terrain and area fuels off the Bolden Creek drainage to determine where best to put in a fire line, plan safety zones, and escape routes. Additionally, a helicopter dropped buckets of water on the hot spots to knock out the heat to lay down the fire.

Today’s operations will consist of establishing hand line from Collett Creek Road to Bolden Creek and then from Bolden Branch Road over to Lords Way down to Junaluska Road using trails, creeks, and existing road system. Aviation crews will be working the fire edge as needed throughout the day.

For updates about the Collett Ridge Fire, please follow the National Forests in North Carolina at for additional updates.


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