Over 45,000 acres have been burned in the state by 19 significant fires since October 23. Investigators with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's (TDA) Agriculture Crime Unit, along with authorities in Sequatchie and Monroe Counties and the State Fire Marshal's office recently arrested two people suspected in separate arson cases.
Matthew Ryan Wallace, age 27 of Tuscaloosa, Ala.is accused of igniting a wildfire along Standifer Grant Road in Sequatchie County yesterday. An abandoned mobile home caught fire during this blaze but volunteer firefighters quickly put it out.
The arson hotline is 1-800-762-3017.
The work early in the week for Stepp and his crew was keeping the fire from reaching homes in the area, and helping the Forest Service control the burnout by night.
Governor Pat McCrory announced today that the state is offering a reward of up to $10,000 to be issued to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who are responsible for setting wildfires in western North Carolina.
The smoke is coming from wild fires in the mountains of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, which are sending large plumes of smoke and creating unhealthy breathing conditions.
Even parking a auto off-road has been prohibited amid fears a hot tailpipe could ignite dry leaves below.
A series of nearly 20 wildfires in western North Carolina have burned more than 46,000 acres in the state since October 23, according to a press release on Wednesday by Gov.
The largest of the active fires, 13,679-acre Tellico in the Nantahala National Forest of Swain and Macon counties was 68 percent contained Wednesday.
The authority said its ban applies to anything that might produce an open flame.
On Tuesday, public information officers with the North Carolina Forest Service and U.S. Forest Service provided media representatives with a closer look at the fire and the efforts being made to contain it.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties, including Sevier County.
A major wildfire near Lake Lure has now spread to almost 4,500 acres - growing 1,000 acres in a day - and new evacuations were ordered Tuesday almost one week after the fire started near the Party Rock area, officials said. That number grew Wednesday to more than 200, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Tom Stokesberry said.
Environmental officials in the region have sent health alerts warning residents of increased levels of particulate matter in the air. On Thursday, McCrory declared a State of Emergency for 25 counties.
Anyone who plans to conduct a controlled burn within the city limits of Lebanon or Mt. Juliet must contact that city's fire department.
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