Thursday, April 30, 2009

Great Smoky Mountains national park Laurel Falls wild fire update

The Laurel Falls Hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains national park remains closed along with other hiking trails close by as 3 fire fighter crews continue to fight the stubborn blaze fueled by leaves, branches, and other hardwood litter as well as trees with heavy beetle kill damage.

Though open flames were no longer visible from the last areal reconnaissance of the Laurel Falls wild fire in the GSMNP, stump holes and logs are still smoking and could flare up at any time. The photo below was taken at the Laurel Falls wild fire and shows typical current fire behavior.

Laurel Falls wild fire current fire behavior

Though the Laurel Falls Hiking trail is only a moderate incline, the fire fighters are dealing what they have classified as an extremely rugged and steep terrain making battling the blaze very difficult.

The estimated current containment date of the Laurel Falls Wildfire is now May 3rd. The potential growth of this fire is minimal as long as the weather trends continue and the condition of the fire is now far better than it has been in the past 3 days.

Currently this wildfire is within the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountains national park and Ober Gatlinburg and residences close by do not appear to be in any danger, but are still having to deal with varying degree of smoke.

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