MNICS team update from Knoxville

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MNICS team and the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree truck 

The MNICS team took a break to see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree that stopped in Knoxville, Tennessee on Nov. 23. Harvested from the Payette National Forest, the 80-foot, 16,500-pound, 84-year-old Engelmann Spruce is making its 4,000-mile journey from McCall, Idaho for a lighting ceremony on Dec. 6 in Washington, DC. It will be decorated with more than 6,000 ornaments made by kids in Idaho.

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NIFC map, Nov. 25

Meanwhile, 70 fires are burning in eastern Tennessee among 164 fires in the southeast, which remains at planning level 5. The region is having abnormally dry to exceptionally high drought conditions. One hundred firefighters were treated to a Thanksgiving Day meal yesterday as crews continue to arrive at the Knoxville Mobilization Center being coordinated by Brian Pisarek and the MNICS team.

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Inside the Knoxville MOB center