At 6:30 p.m. on Monday night, fire crews and equipment from the Cherokee National Forest responded to a report of a fire on Rocky Top Mountain. Reconnaissance revealed the fire was burning on Neddy Mountain and that six different locations were burning within the interior of the Neddy Mountain Fire. Cherokee National Forest fire crews engaged in structure protection on homes and outbuildings around the fire perimeter as a precautionary measure. Crews disengaged from the fire around 11:30 pm when the rain moved over the fire area.
The Neddy Mountain Fire was reported on November 11, 2016. Line was completed around the 1,200-acre fire which was managed by the Tennessee Division of Forestry with assistance from the Cherokee National Forest. The fire was declared “active” but contained by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on November 15th. TDF indicated that the fire appeared to be human caused and of suspicious nature.
At 7:30 p.m. on Monday night, Cherokee NF fire crews responded to a reported fire on Hwy 107 near its junction with Hwy 81. Quick action by the Embreeville Fire Department and other responding departments suppressed the fire and kept it to ¾ of an acre. The fire was determined to have been started by arcing from wind-downed powerlines. It was declared contained by the Tennessee Division of Forestry and CNF crews returned to base around 9:30 pm.
Crews will be engaged in clearing downed trees on major travel corridors on the National Forest today.
Rainfall total since midnight for the Unaka Ranger District was 0.74” and Watauga Ranger District was 0.82” with forecasted clearing and drying this afternoon. Fire officials are looking forward to more forecast rain through the end of week but, will wait and see how much actually falls and on how wide of an area.
Area residents are reminded that high fire danger conditions will return as clear weather and dry winds dry out the leaves and other fine fuels in the forests once again. Campfire bans remain in place for all areas of the Cherokee National Forest including fires in fire rings in developed campgrounds. Burn bans also remain in place for local counties. When sufficient rain has fallen to reverse the current drought and high fire danger conditions Forest Service and county officials will adjust the regulations accordingly.
For a daily situation update concerning fires occurring on Tennessee Division of Forestry protected lands and information on how to report suspicious fires see: http://www.burnsafetn.org/pdfs/FireSituationUpdate.pdf