Satellite photo shows virtually no wildfire smoke in southern states

Wildfire smoke, December 1, 2016

Above: Thursday’s satellite photo shows no large quantities of smoke from wildfires in the southern states. NASA/Wildfire Today.

Thanks to the soaking rains over the last three days the satellite photo taken Thursday shows no large concentrations of smoke from wildfires in the southern states. Of course this photo was taken from hundreds of miles overhead and would not be capable of detecting smoking logs, stump holes, and the smouldering remains of burned structures at Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Here is an example of a satellite photo that showed large amounts of wildfire smoke on November 10, 2016.

And it does not mean the fires are out. Firefighters may still need to construct firelines around the perimeters of the fires and suppress still-burning materials that are near the fire’s edge.

The very dry soils and vegetation desiccated by the two-month drought will quickly soak up some of the precipitation making it less effective in suppressing a fire than it would have been if the weather had been closer to normal in recent months.

The Southern Area Coordination Center reported Thursday morning only two fires that were still spreading — the Chimney Tops 2 Fire at Gatlinburg, TN (+1,455 acres) and the Camp Branch Fire 9 miles west of Franklin, NC (+212 acres).

Chimney Tops 2 Fire at Gatlinburg

There are no major changes in the information provided by officials about the Chimney Tops 2 Fire. The estimated number of structures burned remains at 700 and they are still reporting 7 confirmed fatalities. The size is 17,108 acres.

A mandatory evacuation is still in effect for most of the City of Gatlinburg.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed from the Gatlinburg entrance along Highway 441 to Smokemont, near Cherokee, North Carolina. Cades Cove and Oconoluftee Visitor Centers reopened Thursday.

The incident management team disclosed information about another fire they are managing east of the Chimney Tops 2 Fire. The name of this fire is unclear, but it is reported to be in the Cobbly Nob area.

For the most current information about the Chimney Tops 2 Fire at Gatlinburg, see our articles tagged “Chimney 2 Fire”.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Satellite photo shows virtually no wildfire smoke in southern states”

  1. Great article! I lost my home on Greystone Heights Road above the aquarium. I keep thinking that if the forest fighters would have taken faster action to put the fire out, much of the destruction would have been avoided. Life goes on, God has His own plans for all of us. Such a sad situation!

  2. What were these kids thinking! I heard that they were lighting matches on the trail and a person with a camera spotted them. They’ve ruined their future! Being sent to Prison for Arson, and damage to structure as well as loss of life!


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