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Author Topic: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016  (Read 14104 times)

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Offline StormNine

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #120 on: December 04, 2016, 07:14:34 AM »
I saw where the death toll is now at 13. Also read today that authorities found the body of that guys wife who has been all over the news looking for her and their 2 daughters. They have not found the daughters yet. Just perusing Wikipedia, I cannot find a wildfire in the eastern US (east of the Mississippi) that has caused such widespread loss of life and property damage in modern times. In fact it looks like the Cedar fire in California (the largest in their history) in 2003 appears to be the last fire to cause more loss of life.

The Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013 caused 19 fatalities. According to the TWC the Chimney Tops Fire 2 (the official name for the wildfire that caused all the damage in the Gatlinburg/Wears Valley area) was the deadliest in the southeast since the 1890's. 

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #121 on: December 04, 2016, 07:30:31 AM »
A very good slow soaking rainfall is occurring over this way today.  I had .32 overnight, and its still raining.  It can't do anything but help the fight against what's still burning in the mountains and foothills. 
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Offline StormNine

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #122 on: December 04, 2016, 10:00:33 AM »
A very good slow soaking rainfall is occurring over this way today.  I had .32 overnight, and its still raining.  It can't do anything but help the fight against what's still burning in the mountains and foothills.

That is the best case for that area. Slow and steady will win the race because if is too fast and too heavy then the mudslide threat increases and recovery is hampered. Any heavy rainfall events for that area will be a concern over the coming months-years due to increased erosion on the bare slopes.

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #123 on: December 05, 2016, 07:33:01 AM »
I recorded 1.03" of rain over the weekend.  A slow, steady rain perfect to soak in the dry soil without much runoff. 

Post Merge: December 05, 2016, 02:21:26 PM
This is something I've never seen in these parts before:

Quote
FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
309 PM EST MON DEC 5 2016

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FOR SEVIER COUNTY BURN SCARS...

.AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL BRING PERIODS OF RAIN TO
THE AREA TONIGHT AND TUESDAY. ALTHOUGH RAINFAL TOTALS FOR THE
ENTIRE RAIN EVENT WILL GENERALLY NOT EXCEED 1.25 INCHES...THE BEST
RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS IN THE GATLINBURG AREA ARE EXPECTED DURING
TUESDAY MORNING. REMEMBER THAT BURN SCARS PROVIDE AN ABOVE NORMAL
THREAT OF FLOODING...OR MUD AND DEBRIS SLIDES...WITH EVEN MODERATE
AMOUNTS OF RAINFALL.

TNZ073-074-061000-
/O.NEW.KMRX.FF.A.0003.161206T0900Z-161206T2100Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
NORTH SEVIER-SEVIER SMOKY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...SEVIERVILLE...GATLINBURG
309 PM EST MON DEC 5 2016

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY
AFTERNOON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR A PORTION OF EAST TENNESSEE...INCLUDING
  THE FOLLOWING AREAS...NORTH SEVIER AND SEVIER SMOKY MOUNTAINS.

* FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON

* RAINFALL POSSIBLY EXCEEDING ONE INCH FALLING UPON THE BURN SCAR
  COULD LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING OR DANGEROUS MUD AND DEBRIS SLIDES.

* FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS...ROADWAYS...AND STREAMS WILL BE
  POSSIBLE. MOVE AWAY FROM RECENTLY BURNED AREAS. LIFE THREATENING
  FLOODING OF CREEKS...ROADS AND NORMALLY DRY ARROYOS IS POSSIBLE.
  THE RAINS COULD TRIGGER ROCKSLIDES...MUDSLIDES AND DEBRIS FLOWS
  IN STEEP TERRAIN...ESPECIALLY IN AND AROUND THE BURN AREAS.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 02:21:26 PM by JayCee, Reason: Merged DoublePost »
"For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it.." 
Henry David Thoreau

Online cgauxknox

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #124 on: December 07, 2016, 02:25:25 PM »
Authorities in Sevier County are holding 2 juveniles charged with setting the Chimney Tops 2 fire that grew into the blaze that burned Gatlinburg. Very few details right now but the feds have passed on prosecution to have them tried in Sevier County.

Post Merge: December 07, 2016, 02:32:01 PM
http://wate.com/2016/11/23/4-smokies-trails-again-closed-due-to-another-wildfire/
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 02:32:01 PM by cgauxknox, Reason: Merged DoublePost »

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #125 on: December 07, 2016, 03:56:46 PM »
Quote
Two juveniles have been charged in connection with the deadly Gatlinburg wildfire that killed 14 people and damaged or destroyed more than 1,000 structures.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the two have been charged with aggravated arson but that all possible charges "are on the table."
"Our promise is that we will do our very best to help bring closure to those who have lost so much," TBI Director Mark Gwyn said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
The suspects are residents of the state of Tennessee but not of Sevier County.

All charges are "on the table."  Understandable considering what has happened, and how many lost their lives.  I bet they never considered how that one seemingly small act of irresponsibility and complete lack of concern for their fellow man might lead to such harm.  They should have. 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 04:04:44 PM by JayCee »
"For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it.." 
Henry David Thoreau

Offline dwagner88

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #126 on: December 07, 2016, 08:04:14 PM »
I have a question about this:
How is any prosecutor going to prove that the damage in Gatlinburg was even caused by the Chimney Tops fire? From what I understand, this fire was caused by a combination of embers from Chimney Tops and numerous spot fires from exploding transformers (mainly due to falling trees in the high winds).
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Offline JayCee

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #127 on: December 07, 2016, 08:30:21 PM »

I have my doubts how far this will get in the courts beyond the aggravated arson charges considering they are not adults, even though they mentioned on the evening news they are pushing to try them as adults. But who knows. 

I feel a big swell of pity for the parents.  They have to be carrying an unimaginable burden right now. 

Post Merge: December 08, 2016, 05:41:20 AM
Morning news reported that over 2,400 buildings were destroyed or damaged in this fire.  The monetary figure must be staggering now.  I wonder how this compares to any recent intense hurricane landfalls?

It's obvious there is a great deal of anger and outrage toward the teens that started this fire, and justifiably so.  I'm sure any prosecutor that takes this case will feel a lot of pressure to get the maximum sentence handed to them. 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 05:41:20 AM by JayCee, Reason: Merged DoublePost »
"For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it.." 
Henry David Thoreau

Offline Crockett

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #128 on: December 08, 2016, 09:02:48 AM »
I have a question about this:
How is any prosecutor going to prove that the damage in Gatlinburg was even caused by the Chimney Tops fire? From what I understand, this fire was caused by a combination of embers from Chimney Tops and numerous spot fires from exploding transformers (mainly due to falling trees in the high winds).

It won't be difficult. Those wildfire forensic teams are amazing. They can walk into a ten thousand acre burn and tell you exactly where and how it started. My understanding is that all of the Gatlinburg fire damage was due to the Chimney Tops fire. I believe the transformer fires were relatively small and limited to the PF area.

Offline Thundersnow

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #129 on: December 08, 2016, 10:59:40 AM »
Is this a scenario where the fire storm could have created its own wind?  I know it was windy that day anyway. But, I seem to recall fires out west that create localized winds.

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #130 on: December 08, 2016, 01:28:00 PM »
Some wind gusts were reported near 80-90 mph by the local news that night, which is mind blowing during a fire.  There was a "mountain wave" event also taking place that night, which can create those kinds of winds, but it could've been a feed-back loop type of situation where both the wind and the fire fed off of each other.  The "perfect storm." 

The fire went from 5 acres to 500 in 4 days, then from 500 to 15,000 acres during the mountain wave event.  Afterwards, it's burned another 2,000 acres.  So I think the local winds were the bigger player.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 01:30:30 PM by JayCee »
"For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it.." 
Henry David Thoreau

Offline Crockett

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #131 on: December 08, 2016, 01:39:39 PM »
It won't be difficult. Those wildfire forensic teams are amazing. They can walk into a ten thousand acre burn and tell you exactly where and how it started. My understanding is that all of the Gatlinburg fire damage was due to the Chimney Tops fire. I believe the transformer fires were relatively small and limited to the PF area.

I stand corrected. A media source in Sevier County tells me that officials are at least privately speculating that some of the deaths were due to transformer fires. I still think it'll be relatively easy for investigators to sort it all out, but prosecutors certainly have their work cut out for them. How do you charge someone with murder when they set a wildfire several miles away from the nearest structure? And, yet, the public will demand justice. Homicide charges are certainly justified, probably just not rising to the level of murder 2. Then comes the question of whether you pursue maximum penalty by charging these kids as adults and potentially hitting them with a life sentence. It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #132 on: December 08, 2016, 01:48:03 PM »
I'm wondering if these are the same kids that posted the now removed You Tube video during their hike at the Chimney Tops.  A lady I work with had seen the video, and they were singing some song about fire and everything burning down.  I have no idea what the song was.  I heard a brief news blurb about it last weekend, and that the kids were cooperating with the investigation.  Then yesterday, charges were filed. 

If it's the same kids, and there is that kind of evidence available, then they have a big problem.  But again, I don't know if it's the same people. 
"For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it.." 
Henry David Thoreau

Offline Greyhound

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #133 on: December 09, 2016, 08:42:52 AM »
I'm wondering if these are the same kids that posted the now removed You Tube video during their hike at the Chimney Tops.  A lady I work with had seen the video, and they were singing some song about fire and everything burning down.  I have no idea what the song was.  I heard a brief news blurb about it last weekend, and that the kids were cooperating with the investigation.  Then yesterday, charges were filed. 

If it's the same kids, and there is that kind of evidence available, then they have a big problem.  But again, I don't know if it's the same people.


No it's not.  The film was made by a UT student and once speculation of the video came out , she immediately contacted investigators and has been cooperating fully.   She's not being charged with anything.  The name of the song she used in the video is called "This Fire" and it was ironically shot/dated the same day the fires started.  Just a strange coincidence.  If you didn't know, there's a facebook page called Chimney Tops 2 fire that has a lot of info.  And also the NPS Investigative Services Branch has a facebook page that contains info also.  I would post the links, but I'm at work and facebook is blocked. 

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
« Reply #134 on: December 09, 2016, 08:54:23 AM »

No it's not.  The film was made by a UT student and once speculation of the video came out , she immediately contacted investigators and has been cooperating fully.   She's not being charged with anything.  The name of the song she used in the video is called "This Fire" and it was ironically shot/dated the same day the fires started.  Just a strange coincidence.  If you didn't know, there's a facebook page called Chimney Tops 2 fire that has a lot of info.  And also the NPS Investigative Services Branch has a facebook page that contains info also.  I would post the links, but I'm at work and facebook is blocked.

Thanks for the info. 
"For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it.." 
Henry David Thoreau

 

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