Tennessee Weather Forum

Weather Forecasting and Discussion => TNWx Vault of Fame and Infamy => Topic started by: dwagner88 on November 05, 2016, 09:26:02 AM

Title: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 05, 2016, 09:26:02 AM
Wow. Just look at this map:
http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/ (http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/)

90% of the fire activity in the country is in the TN Valley and BHM area
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 07, 2016, 07:48:32 PM
Fires showing up on satellite...


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[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 07, 2016, 11:09:54 PM
Code red air quality today in Hamilton county due to smoke. That is the first one I can remember in a long time. That fire just south of Polk County is massive. The federal website has not updated, but based on the volume of smoke I saw out there today, things aren't going well. We have multiple small fires on every mountain in the county and a huge major fire in the Cohutta wilderness just to the SE of town. We must get some rain soon.

I am confident enough at this point to proclaim that this will go down as the driest year on record at KCHA. At this point we would need 7 inches of precip before 12/31 to not break that record. In the current pattern that seems impossible. We probably won't reach 30 inches for the year.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 08, 2016, 09:26:49 AM
Seems like these fires aren't getting the media attention that fires out west typically get and should be getting.  That looks and sounds significant.

The media may be distracted on other matters.  Something is apparently going on today... I dunno, an election of some sort?

 ::flag:: ::drowning:: ::unclesam::
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: cgauxknox on November 08, 2016, 09:40:52 AM
Seems like these fires aren't getting the media attention that fires out west typically get and should be getting.  That looks and sounds significant.

I'm guessing that part of the issue is that our fires are mainly rural and aren't threatening homes the way that you see out west, especially in California.  The smoke issues are really dangerous, though.  We're under a code red air quality alert in Knoxville today and my wife and I are both carrying good dust masks in our car in case we get into heavy smoke or get stuck somewhere and have to be outdoors for an extended period.  I'm afraid we're going to see a spike in ER visits and possibly even hospitalizations from people with preexisting conditions.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 08, 2016, 09:52:55 AM
Picture of the air quality in Chattanooga yesterday morning:
(http://wrcb.images.worldnow.com/images/12424433_G.jpg)
Apparently they considered cancelling school. It was that bad. In other news:
http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/33650763/largest-fire-in-georgia-history-continues-to-burn-5000-acres (http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/33650763/largest-fire-in-georgia-history-continues-to-burn-5000-acres)
The Cohutta fire just south of the TN state line is now the largest fire in Georgia history. The smoke plume is immense. I've tried to photograph it, but it just winds up looking like brown overcast clouds.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Crockett on November 08, 2016, 09:54:41 AM
One reason that these fires get significantly less media coverage is that they're much smaller in size (even our largest fires here in the east usually only burn a few hundred acres, whereas fires in the west can be hundreds of thousands of acres). Another is that these fires are totally different animals than the fires out west. There isn't nearly as much risk to life or structures here in the east. Our fires burn primarily in the understory of the forests, unlike out west where the fires are raging beasts that cannot be controlled.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: joemomma on November 08, 2016, 02:59:08 PM
The smoke was the worst I've seen it today in Monterey.  I was outside for no more than 15 minutes, and came in and smelled like I had been around a campfire all evening.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 09, 2016, 03:35:24 PM
One reason that these fires get significantly less media coverage is that they're much smaller in size (even our largest fires here in the east usually only burn a few hundred acres, whereas fires in the west can be hundreds of thousands of acres). Another is that these fires are totally different animals than the fires out west. There isn't nearly as much risk to life or structures here in the east. Our fires burn primarily in the understory of the forests, unlike out west where the fires are raging beasts that cannot be controlled.

Apparently this is no longer the case in the larger 1000+ acre fires in this area. Firefighters are reporting burnt up trees. Not just underbrush. We currently have about 1000 acres burning in Hamilton county. The large Cohutta fire in north GA was at 6700 acres this morning, but was expected to rapidly spread today due to low humidity and wind. I read an article today saying that GA forestry expects this fire to continue to burn through at least spring.

EDIT: First evacuations are now happening on Signal Mountain:
http://newschannel9.com/news/local/hamilton-county-sheriffs-evacuating-homes-on-little-bend-road (http://newschannel9.com/news/local/hamilton-county-sheriffs-evacuating-homes-on-little-bend-road)
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Clay on November 10, 2016, 06:39:49 PM
Here's an observation you don't see everyday.

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 10, 2016, 09:38:14 PM
State of emergency

http://www.wsmv.com/story/33683916/tn-declares-state-of-emergency-due-to-drought-conditions

53 wild fires burning in E TN.

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Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 11, 2016, 09:31:28 AM
State of emergency

http://www.wsmv.com/story/33683916/tn-declares-state-of-emergency-due-to-drought-conditions

53 wild fires burning in E TN.

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Good grief that website is a train wreck.

Post Merge: November 11, 2016, 01:32:38 PM
My dad is driving through the mountains from Chattanooga to Greenville today. He called me from Clayton, GA and reported that the smoke was so thick everyone was using their headlights. The rough ridge fire went over 10000 acres yesterday (has doubled in size since wednesday). That area is expected to get 20-30 mph winds tonight. Really not a good situation at all. A photo taken from Parksville lake yesterday of the rough ridge fire:
(http://wrcb.images.worldnow.com/images/12455615_G.jpg)
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: cgauxknox on November 11, 2016, 03:09:17 PM
My dad is driving through the mountains from Chattanooga to Greenville today. He called me from Clayton, GA and reported that the smoke was so thick everyone was using their headlights. The rough ridge fire went over 10000 acres yesterday (has doubled in size since wednesday). That area is expected to get 20-30 mph winds tonight. Really not a good situation at all. A photo taken from Parksville lake yesterday of the rough ridge fire:

The smell of smoke is back in Knoxville today and while it isn't as bad as it was earlier in the week I suspect it will worsen over the weekend.  My wife was north of Knoxville in Campbell County today and said it's getting bad again there.  We desperately need a slow-moving, multi-day rain event to settle things down.

Post Merge: November 11, 2016, 07:52:01 PM
http://wate.com/2016/11/10/tennessee-declares-state-of-emergency-due-to-drought-wildfires/
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 11, 2016, 08:12:00 PM
This afternoon's update on rough ridge has it at 13300 acres. It is expanding very rapidly now.

Just for comparison's sake, all of the active fires in east TN right now measure about 10000 acres put together.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Clay on November 12, 2016, 06:12:35 PM
This afternoon's update on rough ridge has it at 13300 acres. It is expanding very rapidly now.

Just for comparison's sake, all of the active fires in east TN right now measure about 10000 acres put together.
Wildfires are beginning to pop up in Northern Davidson County. No rain chances until atleast next weekend. It has been about 2 month since any significant rainfall has occured in Middle and Eastern TN.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 12, 2016, 06:53:53 PM
Wildfires are beginning to pop up in Northern Davidson County. No rain chances until atleast next weekend. It has been about 2 month since any significant rainfall has occured in Middle and Eastern TN.

There was a fire on the side of the road on Briley Parkway this week... probably someone's cigarette the culprit.

There's dry brush everywhere... with dry leaves having fallen.  Fires will ignite quickly out there.

Post Merge: November 12, 2016, 06:55:57 PM
Good grief that website is a train wreck.

Post Merge: November 11, 2016, 01:32:38 PM
My dad is driving through the mountains from Chattanooga to Greenville today. He called me from Clayton, GA and reported that the smoke was so thick everyone was using their headlights. The rough ridge fire went over 10000 acres yesterday (has doubled in size since wednesday). That area is expected to get 20-30 mph winds tonight. Really not a good situation at all. A photo taken from Parksville lake yesterday of the rough ridge fire:
(http://wrcb.images.worldnow.com/images/12455615_G.jpg)
 

Strangely beautiful yet ghastly photo to look at.

The region desperately needs a substantial rain system.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 13, 2016, 11:30:47 AM
Code purple air quality alert today in much of east TN. I believe that is unprecedented here. I've seen code red before, but never purple.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 13, 2016, 12:51:05 PM
I think smoke is spreading into Middle TN now.  I was just driving back from lunch to Nolensville, and there is a very noticeable haze with a yellowish tint to the sky.  I can smell it too... unmistakable smell of smoke or something burning.  Not sure where the closest fire is... but, smoke is now encroaching the Nashville area from the southeast side...


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Post Merge: November 13, 2016, 12:57:21 PM
My eyes are actually burning.  This is insane.

Post Merge: November 13, 2016, 12:58:07 PM
Getting reports of smoke in Christiana and Triune as well.

Post Merge: November 13, 2016, 01:13:10 PM
The country is burning down.  Riots in the streets.  All well in America, situation normal.  :o ::wow::
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: JHart on November 13, 2016, 01:41:03 PM
It's smoky all across northern Rutherford County with a distinct burning smell filtering into everything.  I have never seen anything like this around here... not that I can see much through my watery eyes.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: WXHD on November 13, 2016, 02:27:27 PM
I thought I was going crazy. Saw a yellowish haze on the horizon. Glad that I may still be going crazy but at least that's not part of it!
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Charles L. on November 13, 2016, 02:58:58 PM
We are experiencing the same thing up here. Not as hazy here, but the smell is very much present.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 13, 2016, 03:28:47 PM
Chattanooga looks like Beijing. METAR reports smoke/haze for the last 2 days and visibility has fluctuated between 2-4 miles. It looks overcast. I doubt that it actually is though.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Eric on November 13, 2016, 03:58:41 PM
Hey Southeast TN, come get your smoke/haze...we don't want it. 

Thank you,
The rest of TN.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Curt on November 13, 2016, 05:00:53 PM
I'm in Sevier Co this week. I wouldn't even know there are mountains nearby. Smell is nasty. Smoke made it just east of Memphis yesterday.

On another note, most of west tn if not all of tn minus UHI got to freezing or below. Many stations in my neck of Shelby Co- granted ex-urban- were around 30. Growing season and grass cutting bye bye way too late. 
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 13, 2016, 07:41:12 PM
Ignore the terrible background music and check out this neat drone footage of a grass fire on hwy 27 downtown today. This is probably the result of 1 cigarette butt being thrown out of a window:
https://vimeo.com/191389138 (https://vimeo.com/191389138)
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 13, 2016, 10:43:52 PM
Quote
Tonight
Areas of smoke. Patchy frost after 3am. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 35. Calm wind.

Smrost?

Sorry- this is all so bizarre.


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Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: Matthew on November 14, 2016, 07:45:24 AM
What are thoughts about having a separate thread created for the drought /fires?  It appears the situation will get worse in the coming weeks & it appears there is no relief in the short to mid forecast.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: cgauxknox on November 14, 2016, 07:50:39 AM
What are thoughts about having a separate thread created for the drought /fires?  It appears the situation will get worse in the coming weeks & it appears there is no relief in the short to mid forecast.
This is a good idea.  If we had any other event with impacts across large parts of the state for multiple weeks it definitely would have it's own thread.  Knoxville continues to have issues with smoke and Chattanooga is back under a Code Purple air quality alert today.
Title: Re: Re: Fall 2016
Post by: BRUCE on November 14, 2016, 08:43:50 AM
What are thoughts about having a separate thread created for the drought /fires?  It appears the situation will get worse in the coming weeks & it appears there is no relief in the short to mid forecast.
i agree totally... I know it's a bad situation in. Places east of us... But you know the weather is boring when lead weather and about the only weather is fires and smoke .. And agree. Relief looks unlikely as this weekend a threat appears to be getting more questionable ... Pattern going forward looks very Niņa like. Starting to see the analog 98 99 getting tossed around. Especially if this Niņa can become stronger ... We had a decent sleet event early that year January...  And after that we all know the rest of the story ....
Title: Re: Southeast Burning: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 14, 2016, 10:33:38 AM
Note the separate thread now on the fires.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 14, 2016, 11:37:45 AM
Visibility is down to 1.25 miles at KCHA now. Lowest it's been so far. My throat is scratchy and my eyes are watering.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Mister2011 on November 14, 2016, 12:34:52 PM
The smoke in Knoxville is getting unnerving and unbearable...

For posterity... I know most of you guys have access to these images

Terra Satellite - 11-14
(https://s12.postimg.org/p8uxulm8d/Aerial_11_14.jpg)

(https://s15.postimg.org/bdnv4abbv/lg_fire_nifc_2016_11_14.png)
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 14, 2016, 02:13:29 PM
The smoke in Knoxville is getting unnerving and unbearable...

For posterity... I know most of you guys have access to these images

Terra Satellite - 11-14
(https://s12.postimg.org/p8uxulm8d/Aerial_11_14.jpg)

(https://s15.postimg.org/bdnv4abbv/lg_fire_nifc_2016_11_14.png)

The weekend here was miserable.  Yesterday, the smoke was so thick and the smell so strong, I stayed in most of the day.  The sky hasn't been blue for almost a week now; instead, its a sickly hazy yellow. 

This fire season seems to be far worse than the previous drought of 2007.  I don't remember endless days of smoke back then, and I think we had enough rain in November to keep the fires from being as widespread as they are now--at least in the local Tennessee area.  I don't think I recall a November this dry since moving here.  It is becoming worrisome for sure.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Charles L. on November 15, 2016, 07:47:39 AM
The rain they are calling for this weekend will not even put a dent into this mess of a situation. At last check I believe the local NWS offices are only calling for less than 1/4" for most.

Hopefully the models stick with the idea of a pre-Thanksgiving event for the middle of next week, because we are all desperate for a good 1-2+" rain event area wide.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Mister2011 on November 16, 2016, 09:07:51 AM
1st Two pics are of Downtown Knoxville, from South Knoxville facing North
Wednesday 11-15... very clear compared to hows it has been
(https://s15.postimg.org/dbrv4zh57/DJI_0013.jpg)

(https://s17.postimg.org/le86aiixr/DJI_0014.jpg)

Same timeframe, taking from North Broadway (approximately 1.5 miles north of downtown knoxville facing south)
Can barely make out downtown Knoxville...
(https://s22.postimg.org/j0ud7piw1/Fire_11_15.jpg)


Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: StormNine on November 17, 2016, 12:25:14 PM
There are evacuations and a fire threatening property in the Table Rock SP/Pinnacle Mountain area of upstate South Carolina. Fire danger will be on the rise today and tomorrow ahead of the next system as the winds pick up.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Clay on November 18, 2016, 07:13:04 PM
Smoke made it as far west as Nashville.
(https://s3.amazonaws.com/up-bucket-0/monthly_2016_11/582d07989776a_Screenshot(58).thumb.png.618592c38b807d487a2729851f23f033.png)
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Curt on November 19, 2016, 11:35:06 AM
Passed the walland fire earlier today- almost 600 acres now
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 19, 2016, 12:48:30 PM
Passed the walland fire earlier today- almost 600 acres now

The smoke from that fire enshrouded areas over my way in a suffocating haze for the last two days.  Yesterday, you could barely stand to be outside from the smell of smoke. 

I've witnessed many droughts in my lifetime, but the timing of this one is unique.  Usually, by now, November rains are bringing relief, at least from the fires.  We haven't had a good soaking rain here since August. 

I hope the much advertised "pattern flip" starts to bring significant rains to our area, and we erode the drought before next spring.   
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Matthew on November 21, 2016, 08:10:50 AM
Only a .25 expected on Wed.  😔
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 28, 2016, 06:49:20 AM
There's a wildfire now being fought off Burkitt Road between Antioch and Nolensville... very close to our neighborhood. I wondered if today's windy conditions could cause issues ahead of the rain.


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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 28, 2016, 02:47:17 PM
Area fires are going crazy today with the wind. This rain can't get here fast enough. Interstates 75 and 59 both have lane closures due to fires.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: cgauxknox on November 28, 2016, 03:10:30 PM
Area fires are going crazy today with the wind. This rain can't get here fast enough. Interstates 75 and 59 both have lane closures due to fires.
Local reports are that everything has closed in Gatlinburg due to heavy smoke and falling ash throughout the city and that the conditions are spreading into Pigeon Forge and Sevierville as well.  One social media report I saw said that you had to shower and wash your clothes after leaving Gatlinburg because of the ash and smell you carried out with you.

So far this seems to just be smoke and ash but it does make you think about the fires we see on the news out west where embers carry into populated areas and set structures on fire.  It's definitely very scary right now in the worst of it.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Matthew on November 28, 2016, 03:26:58 PM
Gatlinburg residents being asked to evacuate.
We have a soccer tourney this weekend up there.  In a cabin the team is staying.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 03:50:31 PM
I live just downwind from Gatlinburg when the wind blows from the south, and I can attest the smoke today is the worst it has been this fire season.  My deck had a dusting of white ash on it when I got home, and it's already dark outside and the street lights are on at 4:00 p.m.  I've not seen anything like this since moving here in 2003.  The air is so thick with smoke, I could barley breathe outside.

Please let it rain hard enough tonight to drown the fires.   
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 28, 2016, 04:19:00 PM
Nice squall line moving into western Middle TN. There's been a light raining falling most of the day in the Nashville area.

Here's to it holding together for our East TN friends!
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 05:32:25 PM
The fires have become so bad you can actually see a smoke plume on the local MRX radar in Sevier Co.  It's been there a big part of the day. 

With strong south winds off the mountains, whatever rain is heading this way will be fighting a downsloping flow.  I'm sure the rain band will weaken and break up some, but I hope it maintains itself long enough to at least give us a half inch or more of rain.  That would help the dangerous situation near Gatlinburg.

We'll probably have to wait until round 2 tomorrow night and Wednesday to extinguish the fires.  There should be less downsloping winds and mid level dry air to cause problems with rain falling from the sky.  Models show a good 1-2 inches falling in East TN Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. 
Got my fingers crossed.   ::fingerscrossed::
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Lcwthrnut on November 28, 2016, 08:09:51 PM
Just saw on the news, mandatory evacuations for Gatlinburg. Lord send these folks some rain!!
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 08:24:06 PM
Just saw on the news, mandatory evacuations for Gatlinburg. Lord send these folks some rain!!

Yes, just heard this myself.  Winds are gusting over 40 mph up there, so there is no getting the fires under control until the rain starts.

They've showed Gatlinburg on the news--looks like something from the Apocalypse.  All the Christmas lights lit, but the streets deserted and smoke being whipped everywhere by wind.  I never thought I would see something like this.  The sky above the town is bright orange--so very scary looking.

Channel 6 just showed the Park Vista Hotel with flames dancing all around and other structures now on fire.  Wow.  Gatlinburg may never be the same after tonight.

UPDATE--it appears the Park Vista Hotel itself is on fire according to local news. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Lcwthrnut on November 28, 2016, 08:34:16 PM
I've been watching the WATE coverage on my phone. It's crazy looking like you said. Rain about an hour away still hopefully it's pours down and puts a damper on these fires.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: StormNine on November 28, 2016, 08:46:16 PM
Hopefully they get enough of tonight's rain system to help out. The winds dying down would really help because situations like this are extremely dangerous with high winds.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: cgauxknox on November 28, 2016, 09:02:29 PM

UPDATE--it appears the Park Vista Hotel itself is on fire according to local news.
People are reporting messages from friends and family who are among the 45 trapped in the Park Vista.  That's from social media, not the news, so I don't know how accurate it is but definitely scary for those involved.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 09:07:53 PM
People are reporting messages from friends and family who are among the 45 trapped in the Park Vista.  That's from social media, not the news, so I don't know how accurate it is but definitely scary for those involved.

Yeah, a lot of differing reports coming in.  They did show flames right outside the window on channel 6--and they were very large flames--as tall as the windows.  It has to be terrifying for all the people there on vacation. 

Light to moderate rain moving in right now over this way, but I'm not sure how helpful it will be with the winds blowing so strong up there in the foothills and mountains.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 28, 2016, 09:15:21 PM
Just saw video footage claiming to be from the park vista hotel lobby. It was pretty terrifying. It was on WBIR.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 28, 2016, 09:19:16 PM
Truly awful situation unfolding in Gatlinburg.


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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Charles L. on November 28, 2016, 09:23:07 PM
What an awful tragedy unfolding in Gatlinburg tonight. Hopefully this rain will put a sizeable dent in this fire.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 28, 2016, 09:27:01 PM
The smoke plumes from this fire were very obvious on MRX radar today. I hadn't even noticed that happening with the 30000+ acre rough ridge fire in this area.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 09:28:11 PM
Rain is finally falling here, but the line has weakened a great deal as it moved into East TN.  Too much downsloping drying the air.  I can't see rain like I have falling right now being a big help fighting huge wild fires generating a lot of heat.  It's better than nothing, I reckon, but the radar doesn't offer much hope of fire extinguishing downpours, as orange and red returns become light green as they move into this area.

Local news just reported a weather station behind the Park Vista Hotel showed a temperature of 118F and winds gusting to 60mph as the fires were burning near there.  The time stamp was around 8:30 p.m.  That was an accurate temp reading.  That's why it will take more than a few hours of light rain to put these fires out. 

 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Curt on November 28, 2016, 09:34:54 PM
Pretty sure my house on Pine Mtn is gone
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Charles L. on November 28, 2016, 09:38:23 PM
Pretty sure my house on Pine Mtn is gone

Oh no! Sorry to hear Curt. Sadly this is going to be a day that no one will forget for a long time.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 09:43:28 PM
Pretty sure my house on Pine Mtn is gone

Sorry to hear that.  Hopefully, that's not the case. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Curt on November 28, 2016, 09:48:03 PM
Oh no! Sorry to hear Curt. Sadly this is going to be a day that no one will forget for a long time.
Not 100% but we are between Wears Valley and Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge. Saw video which pretty much confirmed my suspicion
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 09:50:31 PM
The first batch of rain is racing through the area way too fast.  But there is hope with the second batch now in middle TN.  Some models show that moving in and lingering into the morning.  Sure hope that's the case.

Going to be a long night, and difficult to sleep knowing fires are breaking out all around.  I just heard there is one burning 7 miles away, near Middle Creek Road in Pigeon Forge. The wind is howling, and the smell of smoke has made it's way into my house.  Long night, indeed.

My prayers are with those having to run from the flames tonight, or those whose homes are threatened.

Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Crockett on November 28, 2016, 09:52:25 PM
Not 100% but we are between Wears Valley and Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge. Saw video which pretty much confirmed my suspicion

****. I was just getting on here to ask if your place was safe. I can't imagine how many homes are going up in flames. My buddy who is a journalist in Sevier County said the fire crews basically pulled back to downtown Gatlinburg to protect it...which I take to mean that there is no active firefighting in the hills outside of town. With it being dark and with a full-scale evacuation underway, I would be willing to bet that this is far, far worse than anyone really grasps right now. Probably dozens of homes at least going up in flames tonight.

Just absolutely tragic. I love Gatlinburg this time of year. We stay in Wears Valley often during the winter.  :'(
Title: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Curt on November 28, 2016, 10:01:18 PM
https://youtu.be/nTkzFtQxiH4

This is from dollar general in Wears Valley looking towards our house. Those are multiple structure - most likely cabins- on fire in the background. We are deeper into the hills than those.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Charles L. on November 28, 2016, 10:04:27 PM
Unconfirmed reports on Twitter that Dollywood may be on fire now too.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Lcwthrnut on November 28, 2016, 10:17:11 PM
I just heard on ch 5 in Nashville that the park vista was confirmed on fire..... Pray they got those folks out.

Ch 4 sorry WSMV
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Matthew on November 28, 2016, 10:17:40 PM
Dollywood on fire.  16 structures on fire in Gatlinburg per channel 4.  Hilton on fire.

Post Merge: November 28, 2016, 10:18:09 PM
I just heard on ch 5 in Nashville that the park vista was confirmed on fire..... Pray they got those folks out.

They did get out.

Post Merge: November 28, 2016, 10:18:41 PM
Local 8 News ‏@wvlt  8m8 minutes ago
JUST IN: Dollywood has been evacuated. They are NOT on fire but do have crews on stand by. @Dollywood

https://twitter.com/wvlt?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Enews%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Thanks for update
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 10:27:15 PM
It was reported that there was simply not enough man power to take on the number of fires that broke out today.  A fire started over the weekend at Chimney Tops.  The fire was slowly getting worse over the weekend, but today's wind turned into a conflagration, and spread it all over areas downwind in Gatlinburg.  Over 15 fires broke out in a matter of a few hours, and then more fires spread from there.  There was no way so many fires could be controlled on so many fronts.  It was a perfect storm as far as the ongoing drought, dried fallen leaves, and winds gusting to near hurricane force today. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 28, 2016, 10:29:37 PM
Parts of Tellico Plains and Vonore also being evacuated due to different fires.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 28, 2016, 10:39:57 PM
Dollywood's new Dreamore Resort is being evacuated, as well. 

Unfortunately, the rain has stopped here.  I doubt we even rec'd a tenth of an inch.  There is more rain upstream in middle TN, and Alabama.  Hopefully, it will survive the trek here better than the first batch did. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 28, 2016, 10:42:04 PM
Channel 5 said 30 structures now involved in Gatlinburg including a 16 story hotel (Park Vista I presume).

So sorry Curt.


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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 28, 2016, 11:16:38 PM
I hope and pray this is not as bad as it sounds- just came across this post shared on social media, and it sounds horrendous

Quote
Fire update: I just evacuated my house. There is a fire by the middle school in pigeon forge.

I don't have the news so I have no idea what is being broadcasted but I do have a firefighter in Gatlinburg literally in the middle of the fires who is trying to keep me informed as much as he can. So I will tell you briefly what I know:

First off if you've been following my post, Damian is okay! He was trapped in a fire at park vista with no way out. They finally figured out how to get out and saved him and his crew. Let's just say he text me and told me he loved me and that there was no way out of this fire. By the grace of God and all your prayers, he got out of that fire. Thank you so much!

Gatlinburg is completely on fire. Everything. Last time I talked to him he was sitting watching as his station was about to burn. He was watching people sit outside their houses as they watched them burn down just sobbing. People are trapped in their houses and rescue very well may not be able to get to them. And that's not from a lack of trying. His words to me tonight were they have called EVERY body they know to call in and they are LOSING. He is tired. They all are sooo tired. If you are in Gatlinburg and not leaving by choice, stop. Leave. You are putting every emergency personnel lives in danger by staying. I haven't heard from Damian in a bit. Please keep them in your prayers.

We live in the city of pigeon forge and just evacuated our home. I will update again in about an hour when I can talk more and we are safe away from all the fires.

I'm going to ask again, please pray for our emergency personnel. I just had to pack up my entire family and leave Damian behind. Wives and children want them to come home safe in one piece. Please please pray. This will be in our history books.


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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Matthew on November 28, 2016, 11:28:05 PM
I hope and pray this is not as bad as it sounds- just came across this post shared on social media, and it sounds horrendous


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I also pray this is not true.  The rain shield is diminishing as it approaches Gatlinburg.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 28, 2016, 11:52:33 PM
Tennessee Dept of Safety

Quote
A general emergency continues for the entire city Gatlinburg due to a wildfire and high winds. This means MANDATORY evacuations of the city are in place.

-Verizon cell service is overwhelmed and damaged possibly. Portable cell towers are being worked;

-THP Special Operations has activated from Nashville;

-THP Command Post has deployed from Nashville.

-Fire is heavy and public safety workers are performing heroic acts as we speak.

All state resources are being deployed.


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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Crockett on November 29, 2016, 12:24:38 AM
Incredible video of some guys escaping their home in Chalet Village, which is off the Gatlinburg Bypass. That resort village was completely destroyed. It's hard to imagine there aren't some fatalities out there tonight.

https://www.facebook.com/CreekWalker79/posts/10209278204931283?pnref=story

Chalet Village is located on the mountain between Wears Valley and Gatlinburg. Ski Mountain, which is nearby and closer to Ober Gatlinburg, has reportedly been destroyed as well. It's hard to imagine that everything between Gatlinburg and Wears Valley wasn't destroyed.

On the other side of town, on Hwy. 321, a restaurant and wedding chapel have burned. Gatlinburg is catching it from both sides.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Brad on November 29, 2016, 12:33:13 AM
Very sad indeed. Glow can be seen in the corner of this camera in Wears Valley.
http://www.preservecabins.com/smoky-mountain-webcam-of-the-preserve-resort-in-the-great-smoky-mountains/
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: SuperCell on November 29, 2016, 12:47:46 AM
So sad...I love that place. So many memories. Hope this rain holds together for them. 😿

Post Merge: November 29, 2016, 02:07:27 AM
"The traffic is horrible. It's a mass exodus," Gail said. "A roller coaster is on fire at Goats on the Roof," a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Gill said." - quote from NBC News.

Goats on the roof is just out of Pigeon Forge down Wears Valley Road.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 29, 2016, 05:00:13 AM
Waking up to a complete natural disaster caused by fire in Gatlinburg.  What a sad nightmare.  News reports this morning say that one-third of the mountain town has been damaged in some way by the firestorm.  Literally, it was a storm of fire for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

In East Tennessee we are used to severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, even the occasional remnants of hurricanes.  We've had our share of droughts and some bad fire seasons.  But this is the first real natural disaster strictly caused by wild fires. 

They say daylight will probably show far more damage than we even know right now.  People evacuating Gatlinburg on Hwy 321 said that another massive wildfire was taking place in Cosby, TN. last night.  It appeared a whole mountain was ablaze, and homes were also on fire. 

The scars of this event will be with us for a long time, and that's not just the blackened land and mountains that we'll be looking at for years to come.  A forest takes a human life time to grow, and who knows how many acres have been lost.  And that's not counting all the homes that burned.

On the bright side, it's still raining here this morning, and it appears that it rained a good part of the night.  An unseen Hand has slowed the front, and another band of rain is set to move in shortly.  I've not checked the rain gauge yet. 

It's sad the wind came before the rain.  If the reverse had been true, things might not have been so catastrophic for the East Tennessee mountains.  I call this place home, and I spend a lot of my free time in the mountains.  I love the solitude and the peace I feel enjoying the beauty of the forested slopes we call the Smokies.  That's what brought me here from my Kentucky home.  I'm beyond saddened this morning knowing how much has been damaged or lost in a natural disaster overnight.  It's a type of disaster that I never imagined would happen here, as nothing quite like this has ever happened before. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: cgauxknox on November 29, 2016, 07:43:32 AM
Vonore and Tellico Plains are also being partially evacuated this morning and reports are starting to come out of people looking for missing family members.  Daylight is revealing far worse conditions than most people expected and local media reports at least 100 homes either damaged or completely destroyed along with 30 structures in Gatlinburg.  This may be one of the worst natural disasters to strike East Tennessee, if you can call what started with the work of arsonists a natural disaster.  If they find the people who have set these fires they need to be charged with thousands of counts of attempted murder.
Title: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 29, 2016, 07:52:03 AM
News channel 5 reporting that Ober Gatlinburg has been destroyed along with hundreds of structures.


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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Lcwthrnut on November 29, 2016, 08:27:39 AM
News channel 5 reporting that Ober Gatlinburg has been destroyed along with hundreds of structures.


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Ober Gatlinburg posted on Twitter that everything was fine there!
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 29, 2016, 08:29:12 AM
Conflicting reports about Ober. The resort just tweeted that their property is ok.

Like with the 2010 floods, it's going to take a bit to sort out the facts from the misinformation.


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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Eric on November 29, 2016, 08:32:38 AM
TEMA needs to get it's collective head out it's collective @$$.  They have to be more reliable than Joe Blow with a smartphone.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Susan on November 29, 2016, 08:50:08 AM
TEMA needs to get it's collective head out it's collective @$$.  They have to be more reliable than Joe Blow with a smartphone.

I completely agree.  The video of the guy driving through the fire out of Chalet Village and stating they were given absolutely no warning shows how TEMA totally failed there.

The roads there are difficult to navigate with clear visibility, how in the **** did tourists find their way out?
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: WXHD on November 29, 2016, 08:51:37 AM
Incredible footage. Language warning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMnkmlrJ9GA&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 29, 2016, 09:20:23 AM
Incredible footage. Language warning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMnkmlrJ9GA&feature=youtu.be
Before today I would never have believed a video like that could come from our state
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Susan on November 29, 2016, 09:26:19 AM
Before today I would never have believed a video like that could come from our state

and I never would have believed so many people could be put in so much danger without warning. 

The guy in the video mentions Chalet Village and Gnatty Branch Rd.  Gnatty Branch is not in Chalet Village (Ski Mtn. Rd. area), makes me wonder which area he was caught in and where these are these burning chalets.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 29, 2016, 09:26:32 AM
Incredible footage. Language warning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMnkmlrJ9GA&feature=youtu.be

Just sickening... and terrifying.

This reminds me of a scene from Dante's Peak, when people were trying to escape a volcano on a mountain road.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: StormNine on November 29, 2016, 09:37:11 AM
Gnatty Branch on Google Earth is actually on the other side of Parkway (US 441) and is around the spur area between Pidgeon Forge and Gatlinburg, which is where a lot of the other videos take place at.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 29, 2016, 10:00:30 AM
Gatlinburg Welcome Center sign


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[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Crockett on November 29, 2016, 10:06:00 AM
There have been confirmed structure fires in Chalet Village...whether he was there or on Gnatty Road on the other side of the valley.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Susan on November 29, 2016, 10:33:15 AM
sign to Chalet Village warped by the heat

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cyb0aNyUkAE-sj1.jpg)
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 29, 2016, 10:36:56 AM
A Davis weather station near the Park Vista hotel recorded an air temp of 118 degrees and 69 mph wind gusts. Knox news has some pictures of a road in Gatlinburg where every building is gone and some vehicles are burnt up. I don't recognize the area though.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 29, 2016, 11:05:32 AM
Report that three burn victims have been brought to Vanderbilt in critical condition.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: StormNine on November 29, 2016, 11:19:16 AM
Quote
A quick update.

Around 400 homes destroyed in the region.

Chalet Village and Ski Mountain, the Cobly Knob community and Wears Valley are the hardest hit.

Ober Gatlinburg is fine.

Aquarium and critters are fine.

Downtown Gatlinburg is Intact.

Alamo Steakhouse burned.

Westgate burned.

The real miracle is so far, no loss of life so far. i suspect that will not hold.

Half of the 10 square miles that make up Gatlinburg have been burned.

Keep up the prayers.

This is from the Smoky Mountain Christian Village FB page.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Susan on November 29, 2016, 11:42:13 AM
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1j7dJNKio1QPbslWy4PDNMsQkUes&ll=35.710070866488806%2C-83.48686456860355&z=14 (https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1j7dJNKio1QPbslWy4PDNMsQkUes&ll=35.710070866488806%2C-83.48686456860355&z=14)

Whats burned thus far. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on November 29, 2016, 12:41:10 PM
I'm hoping that the intense smoke coming off this fire would have driven most everybody out of the path before the flames got there. It had to have spread very quickly though. Gatlinburg mayor says that about 3200 acres (5 square miles) burned in the town alone. This fire hasn't shown up on the federal wildfires page yet, but I imagine the total acreage is going to be huge.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 29, 2016, 01:46:04 PM
I think about what the ecological damage of this could be. We tend to think of forest fires being a western thing. I understand some species of trees in the west are genetically fire tolerant and even release pine cone seeds under heat. This is something we don't see as often in eastern woodlands. The area will heal with time. Thankful that human casualties are minimal so far (as reported). The property damage in that area is huge.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Eric on November 29, 2016, 02:39:36 PM
Crockett had a very good FB post concerning this.  I hope he takes the time to post it here, too. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Matthew on November 29, 2016, 03:10:42 PM
What makes me sick is we are suppose to be at a soccer tourney this weekend up there.  The sports complex is a Red Cross shelter.  Plus our cabin is no longer confirmed.  It was in Black Bear Community.  We have insurance but instead the director of the tourney says still on & we're working on finding lodging for teams displaced.  Really?  What about taking care of your residents & community first.  Instead of worrying about a few dollars this tourney brings.  Am I wrong to feel this way?

Post Merge: November 29, 2016, 03:13:59 PM
Also confirming by mayor of Sevierville.  3 dead.  Sad.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on November 29, 2016, 04:08:11 PM
I'm hoping that the intense smoke coming off this fire would have driven most everybody out of the path before the flames got there. It had to have spread very quickly though. Gatlinburg mayor says that about 3200 acres (5 square miles) burned in the town alone. This fire hasn't shown up on the federal wildfires page yet, but I imagine the total acreage is going to be huge.

I just saw a Park Ranger being interviewed on local news, and they've done some areal surveys and estimate around 15,000 acres of the GSMNP have been burned.  Just tragic. 

Post Merge: November 29, 2016, 04:20:55 PM
I'm getting worried about tonight.  Winds are once again supposed to pick up with gusts to 50-60mph, and now the rain is expected to be delayed until morning in the foothills and mountains--after sunrise according to one local news cast.  If that's the case, then we are still in a pretty dangerous situation here tonight.  We only rec'd about a half inch of rain last night, and fires are still burning.  Going to be a long night for the fire crews still trying to get this under control. I don't envy their job. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Greyhound on November 29, 2016, 07:51:33 PM
What makes me sick is we are suppose to be at a soccer tourney this weekend up there.  The sports complex is a Red Cross shelter.  Plus our cabin is no longer confirmed.  It was in Black Bear Community.  We have insurance but instead the director of the tourney says still on & we're working on finding lodging for teams displaced.  Really?  What about taking care of your residents & community first.  Instead of worrying about a few dollars this tourney brings.  Am I wrong to feel this way?

Post Merge: November 29, 2016, 03:13:59 PM
Also confirming by mayor of Sevierville.  3 dead.  Sad.
I could gripe for hours about this, but all I'm gonna say is that I sickens me to no end the value that some people place sports in today's society.  I work in the athletic realm for a career, but I still believe that faith, family & education should all hold a higher degree of importance than a **** game. 

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Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Matthew on November 29, 2016, 09:44:39 PM
I could gripe for hours about this, but all I'm gonna say is that I sickens me to no end the value that some people place sports in today's society.  I work in the athletic realm for a career, but I still believe that faith, family & education should all hold a higher degree of importance than a **** game. 

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My family & I decided we are not going & asked for our $$$ for cabin be given to help victims.  I am furious the tourney has not been cancelled.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Crockett on November 30, 2016, 10:32:42 AM
Ironically, it was just weeks ago that I said, in a post on this forum, that our wildfires in the east **usually** don't turn into the infernos that the west experiences. Our fires burn primarily in the understory of the forests, and are less of a risk to structures. This fire, while a once-in-a-lifetime event resulting from a perfect storm of drought, winds and elevation change, will forever change the way we view wildfires in the eastern U.S.

(http://www.bengarrett.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/rachelgatlinburg.jpg)

My heart has been broken for Gatlinburg this week. If you've never been to Gatlinburg during the Christmas season, you're missing it when it's at its most charming. Some people look at it and think, "tourist trap." And, yes, it has its drawbacks like any tourist destination. But it is still, at its core, a charming little mountain town with its quaint shops, good eats and really a diverse culture that you won't find in many places in Tennessee. We like to get out and stroll the streets of Gatlinburg on cold evenings during the Christmas season. (The photo above, taken a few years ago, is my daughter gazing longingly through the glass at a candy shop.) We start by eating at Best Italian (which is true to its name) then exploring town. Everyone has their favorite store -- mine is Day Hiker, my son's is Sports Seasons and my daughter's is Claire's. Okay, there are Claire's stores everywhere, but she's partial to that one, for some reason. There's a jerky shop tucked away in an alley that offers just about any kind of jerky you could hope for -- gator, kangaroo, etc. -- with plenty of free samples. You can take the chair lift up the mountain and watch the lights come on below. There are always carolers wandering town this time of year.

Most all of that is intact, of course -- untouched by the flames, as the downtown area was spared. And, yet, so much has changed. My stomach was turning somersaults Monday evening because I knew the damage would be far worse than anyone imagined. When I received word that firefighters had pulled back to the downtown area, I knew the devastation in the hills around town would be disastrous. As I've looked at the various photos filtering in over the past couple of days, they're just mind-numbing.

A motel we often stayed at on River Road was destroyed. It was an older place, but quaint...one of the few motels you will ever find with wood-burning fireplaces. Cabins we liked to rent in the Gnatty Branch, Wears Valley and Cobbly Nob communities were all destroyed.

As one of my favorite newsmen, Knoxville's Dave Foulk, said: "The fire in Gatlinburg was an equal opportunity destroyer." Some folks lost their homes. Some folks lost their businesses. From white, affluent people who no longer have their second homes to Latino, working-class people who no longer have their jobs, a lot of people were impacted. So many of the 400+ residences in and around Gatlinburg that were destroyed were vacation cabins and chalets. Some were corporate-owned but many were privately owned by people who rely on them for secondary or even primary income. These are people who open their homes and their hearts to visitors who want to explore the beauty and wonder of East Tennessee, and they're usually among the friendliest people you'd ever want to meet.

My heart aches for all of them, and for a mountain town that will never be the same again. The 15,000 acres that burned in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is sad. But forests are resilient. Fire can actually be beneficial in the long-term. By the time the spring green-up occurs in April, most of the ugly reminders of the fire will be hidden from view. But the devastation on either side of the valley that encases Gatlinburg, and in places like Wears Valley, won't be so easily erased. There are scars that will be there for the rest of our lifetimes, to serve as a reminder of 11/28/16. Gatlinburg will flourish again, but it will never be the same.

It's a true miracle that only four people perished in the fire (though three more remain missing). The hand of God may have seemed absent as **** was raining down from the mountains Monday evening, but surely his protective embrace was wrapped around a lot of people who had only minutes from the time they spotted flames until they had to race down winding mountain roads, sometimes blocked by trees, to escape the inferno.

God bless Gatlinburg, its residents and its business owners.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 30, 2016, 10:51:08 AM
Beautiful, even if gut-wrenching write-up, Crockett.  Thanks for that.

I think about as I split off this thread weeks ago, I gave it an almost tongue-in-cheek, "over-the-top" title, as it just seemed that forest fires in remote areas were just causing nuisance smoke in various places at the time. I know now that I wasn't even taking it as seriously as it needed to be. This will rank high on the list of natural disasters in Tennessee history. As you say, it's amazing that loss of life was not more than it was.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Curt on November 30, 2016, 01:50:59 PM
Our house is still standing- an absolute miracle since the fire burned on 3 sides of our area and ridge top. We had minor wind damage but that's minuscule compared to loss of life. The contractor I work with in the area told me that the news isn't even coming close to the devastation. He says there are at least 1000+ homes completely destroyed. Also, many people got stuck in the firestorm coming down from Wiley Oakley Rd. I'm afraid when the rain stops and searches begin in earnest, the result may be more tragic than originally thought. A Memphis couple is missing currently. Their 3 sons apparently left the car and made it down the mountain with severe burns. I believe they made it to Vanderbilt. Tragic if this is what happened.

Post Merge: November 30, 2016, 03:32:41 PM
7 confirmed dead now as the search intensifies

Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on November 30, 2016, 04:48:43 PM
Thankful to hear your place survived, Curt.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Susan on November 30, 2016, 05:31:39 PM
17,000 acres are now burned.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/TNGSP/2016-11-30-1150-Chimney-2-Fire/related_files/2016_11_30-14.48.32.884-CST.pdf (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/TNGSP/2016-11-30-1150-Chimney-2-Fire/related_files/2016_11_30-14.48.32.884-CST.pdf)

Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Dyersburg Weather on November 30, 2016, 08:04:29 PM
Curt , glad to hear the good news. This whole thing breaks my heart. This area, Cades Cove in particular ,is one of my favorite places on earth. We go to Gatlinburg area yearly and have done family Thanksgiving there twice over the years. Crockett I love that picture because one of my favorite things to do is walk Gatlinburg late at night when the crowd thins out. The kids and I hit all the candy stores about 10 pm about twice every time we go.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on December 01, 2016, 07:06:09 AM
Over the course of the last three days just under 3.5" of rain fell at my place.  It seems much less rain fell just to my east and south--around 1-1.5".  That was probably a mixed blessing for the foothills and mountains.  While they need the rain, they don't need a deluge while the huge task of cleaning up is under way. 

I've been wondering about who started this fire, and why.  I've never understood acts of arson that destroy our lands and forests, and threaten homes and lives.  Frankly, it just pisses me off.  The Chimney Top fire started last weekend sometime, and led to a nightmarish firestorm.  People are dead and some still missing.  The person or persons will probably never be caught.  Nevertheless, they are out there, and they know what has happened, and they know this tragedy was a direct result of their actions, whether on purpose or by carelessness.  Unless this person was severely mentally impaired, they knew how dry and dangerous the situation was for our area.  My only hope is that this person has enough of a conscience to be in a DEEP, DARK state of regret and sorrow right now, and I sincerely wish they have to carry that ponderous burden for the rest of their life. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow on December 01, 2016, 03:37:29 PM
Death toll at 10 now.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on December 01, 2016, 04:09:57 PM
Apparently, there are still many unaccounted for and they are doing door to door searches.  However, door to door searches will not really tell you if someone was trapped in the cabin during the fire for obvious reasons.  And many people visiting or living there may not have family or friends who know they are missing.  They are talking about the need for forensic investigations.  Appalling. 

Some of the stories coming out of this tragedy are gut wrenching to put it mildly.  The son who lost a mother was particularly emotional for me.  I can't imagine.  Even the reporter telling the story  lost her composure.  Very understandable.

The ATF has been called in to investigate the cause of the original fire.   
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Charles L. on December 02, 2016, 06:30:46 AM
The stories coming out of people who lost loved ones is just heartbreaking. The winding roads and windy conditions made for a recipe of disaster that trapped many people who tried to flee. Horrible.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on December 02, 2016, 06:52:43 PM
The more news I get from sources other than the media, and the stories I've heard from friends who live nearby, the more disturbed I get about this tragedy.  Some were told they had nothing to worry about, and an hour later they were driving down mountains for their lives.  The lack of preparation and information was inexcusable. This fire was burning for several days, and MRX made it clear the wind was going to be an issue by Monday.  They issued a High Wind Watch over the weekend while the fire was burning in the mountains.  Steps should have been taken then to prepare people for the worst.  Yet, so many people didn't know what was going on until the last minute, and then they were fleeing down curvy mountain roads with the world burning down around them.  Something isn't kosher about this whole situation, and I'm equally bothered by no one in our local media raising questions about it. 



 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: mempho on December 02, 2016, 08:24:23 PM
Curt, 

I'm very glad to hear good news on for you,  at least.   I know they you would trade that blessing to save just one of the many lives lost but it's still great to hear that you're property was spared.   

Sent from my SM-G900R7 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on December 03, 2016, 07:29:36 AM
http://www.weather.gov/mrx/gatlinburgfiretimeline (http://www.weather.gov/mrx/gatlinburgfiretimeline)

Chronology of the weather products issued by MRX during the Gatlinburg fire.  First one was issued on Saturday--11/26.

Post Merge: December 03, 2016, 04:02:17 PM
From MRX:

Quote
The main concern will shift into the day on Sunday during the late
morning through the late evening as a 40-50 kt 850 mb jet will shift
along the high terrain of the North Carolina and East Tennessee
Mountains. These upper-level winds and the strong SE (downslope)
wind component will lead to sustained winds of 15 to 30 mph along
the high terrain of the Smoky Mountains, along with gusts up to 50
mph. These winds could contribute to wildfire growth and spread in
areas that are still burning in the park. This is true, even with
light rain moving into those areas on Sunday as the downslope
component of the winds will act to erode some of the precipitation
shield along the mountains and their surrounding foothills
. A wind
advisory has been issued for these areas from 10 AM to 10 PM Sunday.

2016: The fire season that just won't quit. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 on December 03, 2016, 04:34:01 PM
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.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee on December 03, 2016, 05:07:00 PM
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.

Confirmed on local news.  And they found two bodies nearby.  I only hope the husband has a good support group of friends and family.  This is h**l on earth when something so unexpected takes your loved ones from you. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: StormNine 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. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee 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. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: StormNine 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.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee 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.

Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: cgauxknox 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/
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee 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. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: dwagner88 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).
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee 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. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Crockett 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.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Thundersnow 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.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee 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.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Crockett 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.
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee 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. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: Greyhound 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. 
Title: Re: The Southeast Burns: The Great Fires of 2016
Post by: JayCee 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.  (http://images.freeimages.com/images/premium/large-thumbs/2476/24769905-cartoon-thumbs-up.jpg)