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Be careful before burning… The local area sees five fires on Wednesday

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Wednesday was a busy day for local firefighters who were kept busy due to the area having a lack of rain for over two weeks, low humidity in the area, along with winds that the month is notoriously known for.

With leaves and grass already dry from the lack of rain, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture decided not to issue burn permits across most of the state on Wednesday.

For those needing to burn leaves and grass, the agriculture department advised residents to find another day to burn if they have to.

Local, fires were reported as the Roan Mountain and Hampton Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Departments were kept busy battling a brush fire in the Tiger Creek area of the county.

Also, another fire on Buck Mountain Road required the Roan Mountain fire department to respond to that call as well.

A down power line reportedly caused a fire in the Blue Springs area of the county.

One of the larger fires happened on Holston Mountain on the Sullivan County side where it was reported that a stolen firefighters truck was set ablaze creating the unfortunate fire.

With the conditions the way they are, residents are also advised to be very careful and should seriously consider having their debris collected and hauled away.

Also, another idea would be to consider composting or using a chipper for those tree branches, trunks, and brush laying around the home place and needing to be gotten rid of.

Residents should always remember that if a fire is going to be started within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or wooded area, a burn permit by law is required from October 15th to May 15th.

Many have containers specifically for burning household trash like a metal barrel which also requires a half-inch mesh screen cover.

All laws are different within city limits so residents are also reminded to call city authorities if they are wanting to burn anything.

For those that enjoy a smoke while driving to work, home, or just out for a recreational drive need to also remember that toss that finished butt out the window can create median fires or even a forest fire if the butt hasn’t been properly put out.

It’s always best to remember that an action has a reaction and that reaction could lead to a potentially deadly fire for both firefighters and the wildlife living in and around the location where the fire burns.

Everyone is responsible for doing the right thing when it comes to striking that match. Also, don’t just walk off from a fire.

It just takes a small ember or lit match carried by the wind to destroy a forest. If one doesn’t believe that, remember November 28, 2016.

That was the day that teens were playing around throwing matches on the ground along the Chimney Tops Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains and by the time the fire was contained on December 9, 2016, there were 17,900 acres of woodland destroyed along with 2,460 building destroyed and over $2 billion in damages.

The fire also took the lives of 14 people.

So, before starting that next fire – take time to take into account one’s surroundings. It could be a matter of life or death.