NASA satellite captures smoke plumes from wildfires burning in 6 states

Many wildfires have begun in the southern United States and NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of them raging in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.  The fires that could easily be identified are noted in the image with tags.

The Maple Springs Fire started on November 4, 2016 at 8:10 p.m. under unknown circumstances and has grown to be about 3,919 acres and is located north of Santeetlah Lake. The fire was active yesterday with wind driven runs, and terra in driven uphill runs. The fire is burning in harwood litter and brush. There is high fire danger today as hot and dry conditions in the area continue.  The Avey Branch fire started on November 4, 2016 at 5:44 p.m. under unknown circumstances and has grown to be about 500 acres. The fire merged with the Maple Springs fire today November 9, 2016 and is being reported as part of the Maple Springs fire going forward.

The Ferebee Fire began on Sunday November 6 under unknown circumstances and is currently approximately 1,132 acres in size.  It is located one mile north of Nantahala, NC.  The fire is expected to spread in all directions with the forecasted weather. Dozer lines and hand lines are being installed near structures that are threatened south and east of the fire.  Weather concerns include shifting winds SE to NW bringing 10 - 20 mph gusts.

The Tellico Fire was human caused and began on November 3, 2016.  It is currently 3,417 acres in size and is 25 percent contained. In the next 12 hours there is a high potential for continued movement and growth. Fire will continue to be active on northern and western flanks with some easterly spread.  A cold front is expected to move in from the southeast throughout the region. However, ahead of the front, winds will gradually increase before shifting to northwest and increasing 10 - 20 mph, gusting up to 35 miles per hour along ridge tops which could increase fire activity.

The Rough Ridge wildfire in Georgia began on October 16 with a lightning strike.  The fire is located in the Cohutta Wilderness Area on the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Due to the extreme drought conditions and concerns about firefighter safety, one of the management objectives is to allow the fire to accomplish its natural ecological role in the Cohutta Wilderness. So a naturally occurring fire will become a semi-prescribed fire and firefighters will keep track of the fire and only step in if the fire spreads to areas that threaten human life.

There are also multiple fires burning north of the Chattanooga, Tennessee area.

As leaf fall continues for the next couple of weeks, reburn potential remains high and is expected to continue for the next two weeks.