Our beautiful spring-like weather will continue for the next few days. Even after our front passes on Thursday, we’ll still be mild. Things will turn around the end of next week, though, so enjoy these mild temperatures while they last! We may end up getting very warm the beginning of next week, ahead of that big storm system. I’ll keep an eye on all that and give more details as we get a bit closer.
Today is the anniversary of the Gatlinburg fires. Many of us will never forget the images that were broadcast to us from the fires. Nor will we forget the stories from the survivors and the dreadful tales of how loved ones were lost. In the end, no one could be held accountable for any of it. It is true that the two teen boys threw lit matches along the Chimney Tops trail, but it was determined that multiple fires in the area combined to form the one big megafire.
It was a combination that couldn’t have been foreseen by anyone. That area was in the midst of one of the longest, most severe droughts they had ever seen. Then, the winds picked up and began gusting to 70, sometimes even 90 mph! If you throw some fires in the middle of that combo you get something like we’re used to seeing rage through southern California during the Santa Ana wind firestorms. Our firefighters, park personnel, and others just aren’t used to that here in East TN.
But a report issued after the fire strongly suggests that we need to be prepared for more mega firestorms. The combination of mountain urbanization and poor burning practices in the mountains may indeed set the stage for more big fires, especially if we have drought again (which we will). Hopefully, many lessons were learned from this fire.
I’ll end on a lighter note! We now have our office Christmas tree up and decorated! I’ll admit, I don’t watch Stranger Things (who has the time when there’s the Weather Channel? Ha!) but after Googling images of it I’m impressed with what Emily, Matilda, and Wendi did with our tree! I have my own trees at my desk, too. I just need some snow on my trees and I’ll be all set! 🙂