Cherohala Wildfire now 75% contained

CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Cherokee National Forest reports progress from over the weekend in battling a wildfire in the mountains of Monroe County.

The Long Branch fire has burned more than 700 acres near the North Carolina border.

Smoke from the fire has blocked traffic on the Cherohala Skyway from Tellico Plains to Robbinsville.

They say the Long Branch fire is now about 75% contained.

On Monday, Firefighting crews are checking their containment lines and mopping.

The Long Branch Trail (#103) and the Hemlock Trail (#101) will remain closed.

“Yesterday’s rain did help with control efforts,” said Forest Fire Management Officer Trent Girard. “However, we are still concerned about areas that may not have gotten rain and will continue to install containment lines.”

The Mill Creek fire above Knoxville is much smaller but continues to be a problem for crews.

It has threatened I-40 and the Cocke County welcome center.

It is burning about 263 acres, but is only 25% contained.

Crews are trying to create a new containment border on the west side of the fire to cut it down in size.

A helitanker is being used today to dump water on the fire.

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