Smoke From Wildfires Hangs Over Middle Tennessee

Posted at 3:31 PM, Nov 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-13 23:37:50-05

Most of Middle Tennessee, along with other portions of the southeastern United States, experienced smoke and haze from wildfires across our area.

According to the National Weather Service, the smoke was from multiple wildfires in the Southeast.

They released satellite imagery showing the areas affected by the haze.

Multiple emergency agencies in Middle Tennessee asked the public to not call about the smoke and smell. They assured everyone it was from the wildfires and that there was no immediate danger to our area.

"We are urging the public to only call 9-1-1 if they see thick, black smoke, a plume of smoke rising from a particular area, or flames," said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks with the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department. "Calls for 'smoke in the area' that are associated with the wildfires could potentially hinder an apparatus' response to an emergency."

Police in Mt. Juliet echoed those thoughts saying, "There is no need to call 911 to report general odors of smoke outside."

NWS officials said it's important to remember the elderly, children, and those with respiratory issues can be affected by the smoke.

Late Sunday, those with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a code orange health advisory that was in effect from midnight on Sunday night through midnight on Monday night. That meant the air quality could "approach or exceed unhealthy standards."

They added the general public would not likely be affected; however, those with issues like asthma could be, as well as children or those who are active outside. Prolonged outdoor activity was discouraged.

Those with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have declared a Level 3 State of Emergency due to the drought and wildfires. For more information from TEMA, click here.

The drought has kept firefighters busy working numerous brush fires across the state. According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, there were 74 active fires and more than 13,000 acres burned as of Sunday. 

Around noon Sunday, 75 firefighters from Williamson, Davidson, Hickman, Cheatham, and Maury counties responded to a brush fire near Fernvale Road in Fairview. 



Around 40-50 acres were burned before it was contained after nearly four hours. Fire officials believed the fire started after a guest staying at a bed and breakfast dumped out ash from a fireplace that was not completely out. 

No injuries were reported from that fire.