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April 19, 2016

Status of East Tennessee Wildfires


Below is an afternoon status update on the East Tennessee wildfires. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and Tennessee Department of Agriculture are receiving progress updates on containment of the current, active wildfires and are monitoring for any other outbreaks. The Tennessee Department of Military, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation, U.S. Forestry and myriad local fire departments are engaged in the wildfire response. The State Emergency Operations Center remains at Level IV – Elevated status due to the continuing wildfire threat.


This report provides details of wildfires where the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry (TDF) has active involvement and may not include fires worked solely by the USDA Forest Service or local departments.


Weather Forecast

· Low relative humidity earlier today but expected to increase tonight to around 80%
· Precipitation expected Thursday night
· Burn permits were restricted today. Online permits were not issued and applicants were required to call for a permit. Callers were given a warning to be mindful about extremely low relative humidity expected throughout the day as well as winds on slopes.


​Active Wildfires

Old Railroad Grade Fire (Carter) – Federal
· Size: 400 acres
· Containment: spot fires beyond containment line forcing crews to cut new lines
· TDF Resources: 3 personnel, 1 pumper, 1 dozer
· Other: USDA Forest Service has assumed control of this fire

Cumberland Fire (Claiborne)
· Size: 50 acres, new 1 acre reset across the road
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: 10 personnel, 2 engines, 4 dozers
· Other: backfire completed this morning; new set discovered at 1513 called in.

State Line Fire (Sevier) – Federal
· Size: 400+ acres; after backfire it could be ~1000 acres
· Containment: 30%
· Federal Resources: 125 personnel, 2 engines, 2 dozers, 1 helicopter
· Other: HWY 25/70 is closed to through traffic. It will reopen as soon as it is safe for travel.

Flatwood Road Fire (Sullivan)
· Size: 40+ acres
· Containment: no estimate
· TDF Resources: 11 personnel, 3 engines, 2 dozers

​Starr Mt. / White Cliff Fire (McMinn) – Cumberland District
· Size: 80 acres
· Containment: 30%
· TDF Resources: 11 state 5 federal, 2 state dozers, 1 federal


Inactive Wildfires

Gatlinburg Fire (Sevier)
· Size: 5 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other: Near main road leading into Gatlinburg

Powerline Fire (Carter)
· Size: 60 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Roses Creek Fire (Claiborne)
· Size: 600 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other: backfire completed last night

Rock Creek/Clairfield Fire (Claiborne)
· Size: 40 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Buffalo (Claiborne)
· Size: 60 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Bluff Mountain Fire (Sevier)
· Size: 150 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other:
· 6 homes lost, 9 damaged
· Concerned about eastern flank holding with predicted winds.

Shields Mountain Fire (Sevier)
· Size: 12 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other: Steep terrain

Nydeck Road Fire (Morgan)
· Size: 30 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Cassell Road (Morgan)
· Size: 25 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Highway 27 (Morgan)
· Size: 20 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Seedtick Road (Morgan)
· Size: 2 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none


Basic Wildfire Safety

• Obey burn bans.
• Avoid activities that cause open flames or sparks.
• Properly discard cigarettes – do not throw them from vehicles.
• If you smell smoke or see fire, move in a direction opposite the fire immediately.
• If you see a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don’t assume that someone else has already called.
• If ordered to evacuate during a wildfire, do it immediately- make sure and tell someone where you are going and when you have arrived.
• Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the route to take and have plan of where you will go. Check-in with your friends and family.
• Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
• If you or someone you are with has been burned, call 9-1-1 or seek help immediately; cool and cover burns to reduce chance of further injury or infection.
• Monitor TV and Radio. You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
• Keep your car fueled, in good condition, and stocked with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.


TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders.