Fires blazing across the southern United States

November 14, 2016

Fires have been reported across several states in the southern United States and NASA's Aqua satellite using its MODIS instrument captured this image of the fires and smoke across the expanse. This image taken on November 12, 2016 show several fires and smoke across the states of North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

The Boteler fire was discovered burning on the Tusquitee Ranger District of the National Forests of North Carolina 15 miles east of Murphy, North Carolina on October 25. It is located in a roadless area on the Nantahala National Forest west of Chunky Gal Mountain near Hayesville. Fire officials responded immediately upon discovery, however steep, rugged terrain and extremely dry conditions provided an unsafe environment for firefighters to attack the fire directly at its edge. Although large helicopters dropped water on the fire and slowed its progression, it has continued to grow. It is currently at 8,695 acres. The cause of the fire is unknown.

The Maple Springs fire (which merged with the Avey fire) is located north of Santeetlah Lake. East of the Maple Springs Fire, the Old Roughy Fire started on November 8th, 2016 and is also being managed by the Blue Team. The fires are active with wind and terrain driven uphill runs and is burning in harwood litter and brush. The Maple Springs fire is 7,177 acres in size. This fire was human caused.

The Tellico Fire started on November 3 and was human caused. The fire is currently 13,676 acres in size. This fire and several others are collectively referred to as the Nantahala Branch Fires and included in the Boteler Fire's daily update.

The Party Rock fire began November 5, 2016 on Chimney Rock State Park land about 1 mile north of Lake Lure. The cause of this wildfire is still under investigation. It's currently 3,457 acres in size. Winds are contributing to the spread of the fire. Firefighters are concentrating on structure protection and burnout operations.

The Chestnut Knob fire began on November 08, 2016 and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. It is currently 2,850 acres in size and the fires is exhibiting moderate fire behavior with uphill runs. Structure protection and triage are what firefighters at this blaze are concentrating on.

The Rough Ridge fire burning in Georgia, is 19,411 acres and is 20% contained. The fire is located in the Cohutta Wilderness Area on the Chattahoochee National Forest. Currently there was minimal ire activity overnight as temperatures cooled and humidity levels increased. Structure protection efforts continue around private properties near the fire.

The Rock Mountain fire is a human caused wildfire which is currently 4,100 acres in size. It is located near Talulaha River Road, on the Straw Mountain within the Chattahoochee National Forest. Lower winds and stable atmosphere are predicted in the area for today and tomorrow. Smoke effects on visibility may impact air operations. Ongoing exceptional to extreme drought conditions are the major factor in ongoing and/or escalating fire behavior.

This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner with information from EOSDIS and Inciweb.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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