PICKENS CO., SC – The fire that surrounded Rocky Mountain Monday morning above the northern perimeter of the original containment line has continued to grow.
• The fire grew 500 acres
• Fire encompasses more than 6000 acres, remains at 35 percent containment
• Residents asked to evacuate Thursday because of the large-scale burnout may return to their homes beginning at noon Monday
• The greatest cause for concern weather-wise will be extremely low humidity between 13 and 17 percent
Incident command staff have ordered two more hand crews for tomorrow and are waiting for confirmation of their availability. Another Chinook and Type 3 helicopter are on standby if needed for additional water drops, which would bring the total number of non-reconnaissance aircraft to five.
The growth of the fire and the number of resources being requested has made the Pinnacle Mountain fire the second-highest ranking incident in the Southern Area Coordination Center’s priority list. The SACC is the organization that determines how, when and where orders for personnel, equipment and other resources are deployed to agencies making such requests.
Weather was a concern Monday night as well, as incident meteorologist Mike Proud reports that relative humidity for the area will be between 15 and 20 percent overnight, creating especially dry conditions on the ground.
The incident management team’s Finance Section Chief estimates the total cost of the firefighting effort, including personnel, time and resources, has exceeded $2 million.
The evacuation of residents on the eastern side of the perimeter was lifted on Monday; Pickens County Emergency Management officials said residents were informed they could return to their homes, and local fire and law enforcement personnel assisted with the process.