Smoky haze from controlled burn puzzles Forest Service

Smoky haze from controlled burn puzzles Forest Service

20 March 2006

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ASHEVILLE – U.S. Forest Service officials say they never expected smoke from a controlled burn in Tennessee to hover over Asheville Saturday, and they aren’t sure what atmospheric conditions caused the smoke to travel so far.

“You guys were over 30 miles from our prescribed burn. That’s a long distance for smoke to stay together and not disperse,” said Marty Bentley, assistant fire management officer for the Cherokee National Forest.

The Forest Service burned about 1,800 acres in on Brush Creek Mountain in the Cherokee National Forest about nine miles southeast ofNewport, Tenn., Saturday.

The smell of smoke from the fire prompted about 1,000 calls to Buncombe County emergency workers Saturday. The smoke also sent some residents scrambling to get indoors.

“I don’t know why that happened. It should have never happened,” Bentley said.


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