Wildfires at Cherokee National Forest each grow to hundreds of acres in size

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Forest Service reports the wildfires reported Tuesday have now both grown to hundreds of acres in the Cherokee National Forest.

Crews continue to battle the fires at Meadow Creek, now 360 acres in size, and at Long Branch, now at 255 acres in size.

The Forest Service has reported the following:

“Even though we have received rain and the forest is mostly green, ground conditions are very dry right now,” said Forest Fire Management Officer Trent Girard. “Please remain vigilant while enjoying the forest and extinguish all camp/warming fires.”

The Meadow Creek Fire on the north zone of the forest is approximately 360 acres. The fire is 4.5 miles NNE of Del Rio, Tenn. The fire has transitioned to a Type 3 incident management team and is currently 20 percent contained. Dead standing timber and smoke are the main concerns to public and firefighter safety. Currently, the cause of the fire is unknown.

The Long Branch Fire on the south zone of the forest is approximately 255 acres. The fire is ten miles SE of Tellico Plains, Tenn. It is still a large, Type 4 incident with 15% containment. Dead standing timber and smoke are the main concerns to public and firefighter safety, especially along the Cherohala Skyway. Visitors should also avoid any trails near the fire. This fire was human-caused.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, spending time outdoors has become more popular than ever. The Recreate Responsibly Coalition offers guidelines and tips for getting outside and staying healthy while practicing responsible outdoor recreation and wildfire prevention activities. Learn more at recreateresponsibly.org.

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