Cherokee National Forest: Smoky conditions result of neighboring fires

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Carter County has seen its fair share of smoky conditions over the past two weeks and Wednesday wasn’t any defer with an increase of smoke entering the region.

Cherokee National Forest Public Information Officer Peter Frenzen told the Elizabethton Star that the office has received multiple calls about the smoke on Wednesday. He added smoke in the region is the result of fires happening in Georgia and North Carolina.

Frenzen drew comparisons of the situation like a wood stove, with smoke in the atmosphere being trapped locally.

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With the county part of the Orange Alert for Air Quality, Frenzen added that individuals with respiratory problems, along with elderly citizens, are encouraged to stay indoors if possible.

Frenzen provided tips for motorists that encounter heavy pockets of smoke, primarily either on morning commutes or driving through foggy areas. Frenzen said for individuals to drive with their headlights on and to pull over and flip their hazard lights on if smoke becomes too much of an issue while driving.

While rain is on the horizon, Frenzen added that it would take around two weeks for any type of sizeable impact to be made from weather. During this time, Frenzen asked for people to adhere to the burn ban currently in place by Gov. Bill Haslam and to stay up to state with weather and air quality reports when available.

As of 3:09 p.m. Wednesday, there were no reports of active fires in Carter County.