Crews expect to have 3 major wildfires 100% contained Tuesday - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

WILDFIRE WATCH

Crews expect to have 3 major wildfires 100% contained Tuesday

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

Florida Forest Service crews expect to have the three largest wildfires burning in Hamilton County 100%contained by the end of Tuesday. 

They include the Poe Road fire that's burned 550 acres, the Mowbray Mountain fire that's burned 800 acres and the Flipper Bend fire that burned 1,000 acres. 

Crews report the containment lines they spent days digging around the three major fires are finally holding but the threat isn't over.

"It was a lot of work and we do not want to lose that because we don't want to do that again," Rob Penzer with the Oregon Department of Forestry said. 

Penzer is part of several teams in Tennessee from all over the country who know plenty about big wildfires. 

One of the biggest obstacles these out of town crews face now is one of the biggest attractions the Tennessee Valley is known for this time of year-- Leaves. 

"The last thing we need is some more leaves falling on a stump starting a re-burn and then pushing our containment line," Penzer added. 

Leaf litter is a new obstacle on the job for Penzer and his team but it's a challenge he's up for overcoming. 

"We don't have that and so you usually come in and mop things up and you're done and you move on but here it's like they are continuing to fall which is another fuel for it to burn so it's just different," he added. 

Despite the progress, Julie Allen with the Florida Forest Service said the threat could get worse as this record drought becomes desert-like. 

"Unless they get a significant amount of rain, they're going to still have problems with fire because of the significance of the drought," she said. 

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