As North Knoxville residents woke up this morning, smoke could be seen in the distance as the Loudon Waste and Recycling fire leaves days of cleanup ahead.
Around 5 a.m. Thursday morning, the Loudon Waste fire that started Wednesday afternoon had began to subside as firefighters dug through recycling material to douse the flames. The fire was cut down to half the size over several hours, ending evacuations for the Morelia Avenue area.
Firefighters knocked down a one-acre building in order to gain access to the flames around 6 a.m. Smoke in the area is now white, instead of black and residents in the North Knoxville have been told to turn on their HVAC units, but should turn off the units if a strong smell is emitted.
Overnight rain showers drew the smoke plume downward over nearby residences, but Knoxville Fire Department spokesperson DJ Corcoran said rain is welcome to aid in dousing the remaining materials that could still ignite. Some flare ups have occurred, but most of the smoke is from paper, cardboard and plastic and has been light.
“You can’t give up because we have the fire on its heels ... have to keep pushing (forward),” Corcoran told the “Knoxville News Sentinel.”
Corcoran advised that residents in the area use common sense by either leaving or staying inside over the next few days if they see low hanging smoke in the area.
Around 100 homes were evacuated Wednesday evening into the night and residents still do not know when they will be able to return. The American Red Cross, the Emerald Youth Foundation and the Salvation Army worked to provide shelter for the displaced families.
The Daily Beacon will continue to report on the fire as information is made available.