BREAKING Authorities battling Townsend forest fire
Iva Butler (email@example.com)
Townsend Volunteer Fire Department received a call at 5 a.m. today that the fire was within 15 feet of four houses in Rocky Top Estates. Tennessee Division of Forestry has five dozers on the scene cutting fire lines around the blaze to keep it contained, but high, whipping winds are making the job difficult.
The fire started on ridges and is creeping down the mountains, said Townsend Fire Chief Don Stallions. A man who lives in a house near the fire advised officials that he heard a noise and when he looked up the fire was coming down the ridgeline.
The fire got down into Fawn Hollow, as well as near Rocky Top Estates, Stallions said. Part of the fire is in the area where Next to Heaven has cut trails for riding four-wheelers and horseback riding.
The fire cannot be seen from Wears Valley Road at this time.
The cause of the fire is unknown. However, Stallions said it could have been smoldering after a thunderstorm several days ago or a tree may have got into power lines.
Townsend Volunteer Fire Department had 14 firefighters and three trucks at the scene and Forestry had approximately one dozen firefighters.