Sciota Road burnout operation a success, wildfire threat reduced

UNICOI COUNTY, TN (WJHL) –  Officials with the Cherokee National Forrest Park Service tell News Channel 11 that the scheduled burnout operation on Sciota Road wildfire was a success. Low temperatures and light winds provide good burning conditions.

A helicopter was used to fire area, using an aerial ignition device, after crews secured containment lines with back burns. The burnout added 150 acres to the fire, bringing the total to 314 acres.

Officials say the helicopter completed the burnout by 2:00 pm, and crews will continue to monitor containment lines tomorrow. Smoke dispersed east with little impacts to surrounding communities. There will be some drift smoke settling in the valleys overnight.

No structures have been damaged and none are currently threatened. No injuries or accidents have been reported. Cause of the fire is still under investigation. Cost of suppression efforts increased to an estimated $290,000.

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