Wildfires ravage Southeast
- Two juveniles arrested, charged in deadly Gatlinburg wildfires
- Tennessee takes four area counties off burn ban list to aid tornado cleanup
- Rain helps with area wildfires, but Tennessee burn ban remains [videos, photos]
- Gatlinburg wildfires death toll climbs to 14; officials estimate 1,684 structures damaged or destroyed
- Nonprofits and state agencies step up relief efforts amid tornado, wildfire damage
- Man charged for allegedly intentionally setting a Sequatchie County wildfire
- Rain brings relief for wildfires
- Southern storms should ease drought, but fire threat remains
- At long last, substantial rain is expected throughout Chattanooga area
- Gov. Bill Haslam applauds wildfire fighters' efforts
- Firefighters make progress in Southeast wildfires, but threat remains
- Crews fighting large fire in northeast Alabama
- Gov. Haslam vows to pursue wildfire arsonists 'with everything we have'
- Hamilton County wildfires to cost more than $600,000
- Forestry crews prepared to miss Thanksgiving with families as they battle wildfires
- Wildfires rage on; new one pops up in North Georgia
- Gasp! Wildfires cause hacking and wheezing across the South
- Air quality improves, rain possible this weekend
- Relentless smoke spreads fear at edge of southern wildfires
- Catoosa County issues burn ban
- Many outdoor activities banned as fires burn across south
- Two men charged with arson as crews make progress quelling 3 area blazes
- Chattanooga is on target to break record for driest year in city's history
- Alabama man confesses to starting Sequatchie County fire
- Area wildfires containment increases, Flipper Bend fire 95 percent contained
- Catholic Mass offered for wildfire relief
- Fire crews hope to reach 100 percent containment on 3 area wildfires
- Wildfire smoke engulfs Chattanooga, endangering health of residents
- No rain in forecast as Chattanooga area wildfires continue to burn
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam issues 51-county burning ban
- Firefighters use hand tools to fight Chattanooga-area wildfires with no rain in sight
- Hundreds hospitalized with breathing problems amid Chattanooga-area wildfire outbreak
- Sohn: Might wildfire smoke be harbinger of days to come?
- New fires sprout in Chattanooga area as firefighters work to contain thousands of acres burning across region
- Arson suspected in most Chattanooga area wildfires
- UPDATE: Man arrested after admitting he set three wildfires that consumed 300 acres
- The latest update on the unprecedented fire season in the tri-state area
- Wildfires burning total of 9,680 acres across eastern half of Tennessee; FEMA steps in to offer aid [videos, photo galleries]
- Southern fires rage with 41.6 million now living in drought
- Wildfires continue across region with no rain imminent; some residents evacuated
- Chattanooga area wildfire smoke triggers 'Code Red' air quality alert [videos]
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Starting campfires, lighting fireworks and smoking cigarettes are among the outdoor activities being banned across the South as fires burn in forests stressed by drought.
Even parking a car off-road is prohibited for fear that a hot tailpipe could ignite dry leaves below.
U.S. Forest Service spokesman Adam Rondeau has said the agency is tracking wildfires that have burned a total of 80,000 acres across the South. That includes a north Georgia fire that's burned an area the size of Manhattan.
The Tennessee Valley Authority issued a burn ban Tuesday on its public lands across Tennessee and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia. The authority said its ban applies to anything that might produce an open flame.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, meanwhile, banned outdoor burning outright in more than half of the state's counties through December 15.
Also, two men were arrested Monday on charges related to setting separate fires along roadsides in Tennessee. Of the 1,238 wildfires in the state so far this year, officials suspect arson in almost half of them.
In Alabama, Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen said state officers are investigating two of nearly 1,100 statewide wildfires as possible arson. No arrests have been made, but officers have issued misdemeanor citations for allegedly violating the statewide no-burn order.
Smoke from the fires has caused unhealthy breathing conditions in many places.
In South Carolina, the Department of Health and Environmental Control issued a code red alert for 25 counties along and west of Interstate 77 through to Orangeburg County. DHEC said everyone should limit their time outdoors if possible, especially people with respiratory issues.
Smoke has also cast a haze over the Atlanta skyline in recent days.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has banned the ignition of all fireworks in much of the state due to the wildfire risk. Fire officials said the largest active wildfire in the South has now burned more than 19,000 acres in the north Georgia mountains - an area larger than New York's Manhattan borough.
The fires in North Carolina now cover in excess of 40,000 acres. Federal and state forestry officials said Tuesday that cloudy conditions allowed firefighters to make progress on containment.