Chattanooga area wildfire smoke triggers 'Code Red' air quality alert [videos]

Two major fires burn at the Flipper Bend forest fire atop Walden Ridge in this view to the southwest from Montlake. The lights on the horizon, at left, is the Northgate Mall portion of Hixson. Crews from Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division and U.S. Forestry Service personnel from the Bureau of Land Management were on scene as two Air National Guard BlackHawk helicopters sporadically dumped water on the expanding blaze.

UPDATE: Firefighters use hand tools to fight Chattanooga-area wildfires with no rain in sight

Wildfires cause closures

The following areas are closed to public access due to ongoing wildfires:* Cohutta Wilderness* North Chickamauga Creek Gorge Sate Natural Area* Flipper Bend* Trail between Cove Lake and Eagle Bluff* Laurel-Snow State Natural Area* Select roads in the Cherokee National Forest also remain closed. See http://www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee for details.

photo Earl Blanks stands in his Montlake Mountain yard and watches the Flipper Bend fire on the other side of the North Chickamauga Creek late Monday. Crews from Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division and U.S. Forestry Service personnel from the Bureau of Land Management were on scene as two Air National Guard BlackHawk helicopters sporadically dumped water on the expanding blaze.