1. #1
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    Post Tennessee still dry

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Recent downpours haven't done much to
    dampen the possibility of a wildfire season as bad or worse than
    last year, forest officials say.
    The rain "might have moistened the ground, but the soil is like
    powder underneath the leaves," said Nathan Waters, fire prevention
    officer for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Division of
    Forestry.
    State fire crews have responded to 15 wildfires that have burned
    about 400 acres across East Tennessee this month. The largest fire
    destroyed 150 acres on Webb Mountain in Sevier County, Waters said.
    The site was so dry that green leaves were igniting.
    Wildfires scorched 70,000 acres statewide last year at a record
    cost of $4.6 million. East Tennessee had 490 arson fires in
    November alone.
    While wildfire season normally extends from Oct. 15 through May
    15, conditions are already bone dry, forest officials say.
    Officials are reminding people who live near woods to build
    firebreaks around their homes and mark their driveways.
    "I know a lot of people want to hide in the woods, but it's not
    a safe thing to do," Waters said. "If we can't find you, we can't
    help you."
    In the 12-county Knoxville fire district, wildfires last year
    destroyed 16 structures valued at $892,000. But district
    firefighters saved 577 structures worth nearly $60 million.
    About 3,200 acres burned in the Cherokee National Forest, a
    slight increase over the annual average of 3,000 acres.
    "All around us were fires, but we didn't get hit as hard as
    most," Cherokee National Forest spokesman Terry McDonald said.
    Most of the Cherokee National Forest is 7 to 9 inches below
    normal rainfall for the year, officials say. It will take more than
    scattered rains and patchy early morning fog to significantly
    reduce the wildfire risk, they say.
    "What we need is two or three weeks of steady rain," McDonald
    said.
    ----
    On The Net:
    Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry:
    http://www.state.tn.us/agriculture/forestry/
    Cherokee National Forest:
    http://www.southernregion.fs.fed.us/cherokee/

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  2. #2
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    Post Fall 2006

    Forest fire season begins Sunday in Tennessee
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - As forest fire season gets closer,
    experts believe the deluge of rain in September will not be enough
    to prevent burning in East Tennessee.
    The wildfire season in Tennessee begins Sunday and lasts through
    May 15. Residents must have permits for outdoor burning during the
    season.
    In Knoxville, rainfall totaled 7.33 inches since Sept. 1, which
    is 3.85 inches above normal.
    But it only takes a few days of wind and falling leaves to have
    the right conditions for fires, said Nathan Waters, assistant
    district forester for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
    "Winter and fall are our worst seasons for wildfires," Waters
    said. "Our main source of fuel around here are deciduous leaves."
    Already in 2006, there have been 1,923 wildfires that burned
    29,349 acres across the state, and most of those happened between
    January and May 15.
    In 2005, there were 2,073 wildfires across the state that burned
    25,000 acres.
    "I'd say our wildfire season this year will be similar to last
    year, unless we get a lot of rain," Waters said.
    The number of wildfires declined from 2002 to 2004. The worst
    season in East Tennessee was 2001 after a long drought.
    Most wildfires in the South are caused by people, either
    intentionally or unintentionally. In Tennessee, about half of the
    wildfires caused by people are set deliberately.
    ---
    Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel,
    http://www.knoxnews.com

    (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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