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Rain helps firefighters get wildfires under control

1:55 PM, Nov 27, 2012   |    comments
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Rain is bringing some relief to firefighters who have been battling wildfires in several East Tennessee counties over the last week.  The improving conditions will also allow some counties to being issuing burn permits again.

On Monday, Division of Forestry and local fire crews responded to five new fires that burned a total of 42 acres in Blount, Cocke, Monroe, Morgan and Union Counties.

Crews were also still trying to contain several other large fires, including one on Cross Mountain near I-75 at Campbell/Anderson County line, a fire adjacent to Ivy Dale Road in Campbell County, a fire on Westbourne Mountain north of Lafollette, and one near Smokey Creek Road in Scott County.

All of those fires except the one on Cross Mountain have been contained on Tuesday, though crews are still monitoring those areas to make sure they do no reignite.

To find out if your county is now issuing fire permits, go to www.burnsafetn.org.
 
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Wildfires continue to burn in several East Tennessee counties, as fire danger conditions are increasing.

The Division of Forestry and local firefighters have been kept very busy over the last week, responding to brush and forest fires.  Most of those fires were intentionally started.

On Sunday, seven new fires were reported in Campbell, Hancock, Union, Monroe and Scott Counties, burning 320 acres.  The largest one was a 150 acre suspected arson fire that burned on Red Oak Mountain, located on the Campbell/ Anderson county line north of Briceville.  Other arson fires were started on Highway 27 near Helenwood and Smokey Mountain in Scott County, Big Road in Hancock County and White Oak in Campbell County.

Two debris fires occurred, one in Monroe County on Jones Road and the other in Union County near Kettle Road.

Since Saturday, November 10, 62 fires have burned over 6300 acres in East Tennessee counties, including Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Knox, Loudon, Anderson, Sevier, Morgan, Hamblen, Hancock, Grainger and Union Counties. Six of these have been escaped debris fires that burned over 380 acres. One was started by kids, one was ignited by a tossed cigarette, and two were house fires that spread to the woods.

Due to fire weather danger and multiple fires across the East Tennessee area, the following counties will not be issuing permits at least through the upcoming weekend: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union and Washington.

Woods arson is a class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.  Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal's Arson Hotline toll-free at 1-800-762-3017.

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