Controlled burns underway across East Tennessee

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – People across East Tennessee reported seeing smoke in the air Tuesday. Rural Metro Fire officials confirmed multiple controlled burns were underway on Tuesday morning.

The controlled burns are centered in the areas of Forks of the River and Watt Road.

On Monday, the U.S. Forest Service conducted a controlled burn in Monroe County.

The burns caused smoke in the air which contributed to the poor air quality Tuesday morning. Around 9 a.m. Knoxville’s Air Quality Index was in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range.

The Tennessee Division of Forestry confirmed controlled burns taking place on Tuesday in Blount, Claiborne, Union, Morgan and Scott counties. A controlled burn is also taking place on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Nathan Waters is Assistant District Forester for the state in this East Tennessee area, and said Tuesday, “We’ve had a lot of smoke that settled into the Valley last night. You know with cold weather last night, got a little cooler, so everything’s settled down. There were some burns yesterday. And especially in Maryville and South Knoxville, some places around Seven Islands, I believe they burned around there yesterday. That smoke settles in and it’s annoying, but it’s sort of a good thing, because we want to burn when there’s a little bit of wind, but we don’t want a lot of wind. We don’t want the fire to get out and cause a wildfire.”

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