NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is limiting burning after a cold front pushed through the state Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
The Division of Forestry is not issuing burn permits Wednesday in any county due to the elevated fire danger. This is not a burn ban, so this does not apply to fires that can be set within the corporate limits of towns or cities that have passed ordinances controlling the setting of fires.
A cold front brought bring gusty winds and chances for storms across most of the state Tuesday. That threat has passed but there is a wind advisory for those in the Blount Smoky Mountains, Cocke Smoky Mountains and Sevier Smoky Mountains until 8 a.m.
The Sevier County EMA tweeted out Wednesday that Sevier County remains under a high fire danger.
The dry foliage on the ground and persistent dry conditions across most of the state have created an elevated fire danger across Tennessee. The Division of Forestry said wildfires may have the opportunity to quickly spread, so it's asking people not to burn anything outdoors and to call 911 immediately to report any wildfires.
As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, forestry crews reported a few small fires burning in Grainger County. Forestry officials said a 2-acre fire was burning near Ritter Ridge. It is 80% contained.
Out in Middle Tennessee, crews had their hands full in Warren County battling a wildfire near Curtistown. Nearly 1,000 families had to be evacuated as every fire department in the community responded alongside TEMA and the Tennessee Guardsmen. One Blackhawk helicopter left from Nashville's Berry Field Air National Guard Base Wednesday morning to provide hundreds of gallons of water to fight the fire.
Currently, much of the valley in East Tennessee is in a moderate drought, including Knox County. Portions of Monroe, McMinn, Meigs and Loudon counties are considered to be in a severe drought.