Firefighters gain ground on Cherokee National Forest Wildfires
Published 10:49 am Monday, November 13, 2023
FROM STAFF REPORTS
CLEVELAND – As heavy cloud cover provides a temporary respite, firefighters in the Cherokee National Forest are making strides in battling three active wildfires. Here’s the latest update on resources, current fire activity, and progress for each incident, as of 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Burning in Cocke and Greene counties, 13 miles southwest of Greeneville, the Tweed Fire spans 300 acres. Wildland firefighters maintain a 10% containment, with the fire backing towards Tweed Springs Road, showing activity on the east side. Tactical firing operations off Yellow Springs Meadow Creek Trail are underway to reduce available fuel. While some spot fires and slop outside containment were observed, crews successfully managed to address them. An air tanker is aiding firefighters with fire retardant drops. The fire is under investigation as human-caused.
Buck Bald Fire:
Located in Polk County, three miles north of Farner, the 540-acre Buck Bald Fire remains 60% contained. Little change has been reported, with the public potentially observing smoke from unburned patches inside the fire perimeter. Firefighters report no escapes, and no structures are immediately threatened. Crews from the Bureau of Land Management and other out-of-state firefighters are assisting the Forest Service. The cause of this fire is under investigation as arson.
Burning in Monroe County, five miles southeast of Etowah, the 103-acre Bullet Fire is 20% contained. There has been minimal change, with fire crews using indirect tactics to control spread in steep, inaccessible terrain. Fire activity is currently low. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.
The Cherokee National Forest, spanning 10 counties across the Tennessee border, continues to experience varying levels of fire danger and restrictions. Updates on fire restrictions can be found at the Supervisor and District Ranger’s Office, as well as on the Cherokee National Forest’s official website and Facebook page. Firefighters remain vigilant as they work to contain these wildfires and ensure the safety of the community and surrounding areas.