Late evening storms Thursday were the catalyst for widespread fires.
According to a dispatcher, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office received incessant calls that heavy winds knocked down trees and power lines, the latter of which are sparking several brush fires from one end of the county to the other, the dispatcher said.
Similar effects are being felt in Bradley County, which have reported at least 10 brush fires resulting in down, sparking power lines.
The winds also blew down trees in Hamilton, Bradley, Polk, Rhea and Meigs counties.
As of 8:30 p.m., about 20,000 people were without power, according to EPB spokeswoman Deborah Dwyer.
For more, see tomorrow's issue of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.