Monday fire in Carter County labeled as suspected arson

Published 8:59 pm Thursday, March 31, 2022

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Firefighters believe a blaze that burned 20 acres on Roan Mountain this week is a result of arson.
“This is a suspected arson,” said Chris Wilson of the Cherokee National Forest North District. “We had law enforcement out here this morning, and they conducted their investigation. They will begin to talk to some of the people that live around the area and things like that, but it’s hard to catch an arson unless you catch the person actually lighting it.”
The fire took place high on Tower Road and just above Railroad Grade Road in between Hampton and Roan Mountain. Local fire crews were called in late Monday night and worked into Tuesday to control the fire.
“The forecast is calling for rain, but that will not be until well after heavy winds are going to impact the area,” Wilson said. “If we were to receive a half inch of rain, it will put a damper on things, but the wind means we will be getting right back into it.”
James Heaton with the Tennessee Division of Forestry, whose crew is battling the fire on Buffalo Mountain, said that the region has seen fires earlier than usual this year.
“We’ve had fires this year in areas that we don’t normally have fires, due to high elevations or other factors, that sort of thing,” Heaton said.
More information on the investigation of the Carter County fire will be provided when it is available.

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