Tennessee Burning


White Oak Mountain burning against I-75 between Cleveland and Chattanooga. It was on fire Tuesday morning and again Wednesday night.

It was just announced this morning that a residential community on Signal Mountain is being evacuated because of the forest fires burning there. As there is no forecast of rain any time in the near future, the fires will likely continue to spread and endanger other homes on the mountain.


Satellite image of TN’s and NC’s wildfires. Kentucky also has some wildfires, but they’re mostly getting our smoke.

Also, there are so many fires burning around Chattanooga, Knoxville, and North Carolina (honestly, this is not why they’re called the Smokey Mountains!), the air quality for the Tennessee Valley is red and, again, with no rain in sight, it is likely to remain that way for some time. People with serious asthma and other breathing problems are starting to miss work and school because the outside air is so bad.

We have had smoke wafting through our yard and ash on our cars, even though we’re many miles from the nearest fire. When I was driving over White Oak Mountain yesterday, the smell of smoke became so strong, my eyes started to tingle.

This is a prime example of needing bug-out bags and short-term supplies. You may think that a natural disaster isn’t going to strike your area, but we never expected wildfires like this, either. They’re actually not very common in our area and are normally quickly contained. Nothing like this has ever been seen in my lifetime. So you never know what or when the next natural disaster will strike. That’s why you need to be prepared to evacuate or shelter at home, depending on the circumstances.

Edited to Add: I no more got this posted than my husband called and said that he heard on the radio that White Oak Mountain is on fire yet again and the interstate is at a stand still.