More than 1,000 out-of-state firefighters stationed in East Tennessee

Nov. 25, 2016: More than 1,000 firefighters from across the country are in East Tennessee and the Southeast region fighting wildfires.

As wildfires continue to burn, firefighters from across the country continue to fly to East Tennessee to help knock them down. 

A new group of 100 firefighters arrived Thanksgiving day to head to a wildfire burning near the Tennessee and North Carolina state line. 

That group of men and women will join 1,100 firefighters from other states already working in the East Tennessee, Southeast region. 

On Friday, the state Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry reported there were seven new known fires involving 113 acres over the past 24 hours.

That included three new fires involving some eight acres, two of which were suspected arson.

The major fires now burning in Tennessee:

*East Miller Cove (Blount) 1,499 acres, 80% contained

*Little Brushy (Morgan) 260 acres, 100% contained

*Stoney Fork (Campbell) 884 acres, 100% contained

*Beech Grove Rd (Anderson) 327 acres, 100% contained

*Bald Knob Rd. (Morgan) 1,173 acres, 100% contained

*Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 981 acres, 100% contained

*Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 712 acres, 100% contained

*Mowbray (Hamilton) 899 acres, 98% contained

More firefighters coming

In the next few days, 300 more firefighters will arrive. 

According to Celeste Prescott, based out of the mobilization unit at McGhee Tyson Airport, there are firefighters in Tennessee from Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona, the Pacific Northwest and plenty of other states.

"There's some people who are already coming back out here for their second time," Prescott said.

She said having such a late fire season is unusual for the region.

"This is unprecedented, the amount of fires and the amount of resources that are required. They haven't really seen before. Especially this time of year," Prescott said.

For many firefighters, it's their first time in Tennessee so they had to be briefed on the different terrain. 

"It's a different kind of beast. Some really steep terrain they are dealing with as well which can be very dangerous," Prescott said. 

One firefighter from Idaho, Greg Haxby, said he had to learn quickly how to adapt to Tennessee's rugged landscape. 

Haxby, who is a pilot on the air attack team, said the forest has been very dense on many fires he's worked here so far. 

"You couldn't even see fire through the trees because the canopy is so thick," he added. 

He said it's no doubt dry in East Tennessee, which pushes the fire season back more and more. 

"We are all kind of surprised to be out here," Haxby added. 

Regardless of the situation, the firefighters are eager to protect homes and protect lives during their time in the area.

"It's been a pleasure out here. It's been a good experience for me," Haxby said.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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