Haze covers Middle Tennessee and more after widespread wildfires


Haze covers Middle Tennessee and more after widespread wildfires

A wildfire in Fernvale, a rural area between Leiper’s Fork and Fairview south of Hwy. 96 West, sent up a huge plume of smoke Sunday afternoon as it covered multiple acres and menaced homes in the area.

The Fernvale fire just added to the haze that covered Williamson County and much of Middle Tennessee on Sunday. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture reported 74 active fires across the state at noon on Sunday, affecting more than 13,000 acres. In addition, unusual wind conditions brought smoke this way from fires in the east.

Dozens of volunteer and full-time firefighters from Williamson County Fire and Rescue and the Fairview Fire Department were working the Fernvale fire, along with state Division of Forestry personnel, who brought a bulldozer to the scene.

“Our philosophy on wildfires is that you don’t put a fire out, you contain it,” Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Phelps said.

The bulldozer was cutting a three-foot swath around the fire to eliminate the fuel, Phelps said.

“A real gross estimate is that the Fernvale fire is 10 to 15 acres, but that’s just an estimate because we are still actively fighting it,” he said late Sunday afternoon.

But wildfires also were reported in south central and southeast Williamson County, including blazes near Thompson’s Station and Spring Hill.

Spring Hill issued a burn ban in early October due to the extreme dry conditions. It is the only local community to have done so.

The National Weather Service was tracking smoke via weather satellites that originated in east Tennessee and North Georgia and was carried across much of the state.

Tim Phelps of the Division of Forestry said most of the haze was coming from the east.

“Most of what people are seeing is coming from Chattanooga area and East Tennessee due to atmospheric conditions,” Phelps said. “We have a southeasterly wind that is carrying that our way.”

 

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