Fire in the Mountains
Though it's a tad bit early for fire season, crews at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park already have some fires on their hands.
In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the "Chilly Spring Knob Fire" has spread across more than 220 acres in the western corner of the park near U.S. 129. The fire was believed to have been ignited earlier this week by lightning, and crews have been letting it burn as it poses no threat to human structures or park-managed cultural or natural resources. Located in an area of mixed oak and yellow pine, the fire is expected to help rejuvenate the forest as it will help stimulate vegetative regrowth.
The other blaze, dubbed the "Long Bunk Fire," was located southeast of Mt. Sterling in the eastern portion of the park. That fire covered about 30 acres before it stalled.
In Shenandoah, the Lewis Mountain Fire has covered more than 400 acres and firefighters have been called in from throughout the country to help douse it. It too was thought to have been caused by lightning.