Forestry firefighters heading back to scene of Townsend forest fire
By Iva Butler | (email@example.com)
Tennessee Division of Forestry is going back to the site of Monday’s forest fire in Townsend to make sure all the hot spots are out.
“We have had some calls today of smoldering spots,” said Assistant District Forester Nathan Waters of Maryville.
While the high winds made it difficult to control the fire, the rain that came between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday was a big help.
Waters said stumps and large trees may still be smoldering. If the wind returns in force, it could blow the leaves back out and reignite the fire.
Waters said 136 acres burned in the fire, which started in Rocky Top Estates off Wears Valley Road near the Sevier County line.
One person heard a boom, which may have been a transformer blowing, Waters said. The gusty winds knocked a tree over a power line.
Townsend Volunteer Fire Department received the call at 5 a.m. Monday and when they arrived on the scene the fire was getting close to four houses in the subdivision, coming within 15 feet of some residences.
Townsend firefighters protected the residences as 14 forestry firefighters were en route from Blount, Loudon, Monroe and Scott counties.
The fire burned on both sides of the ridge near both Rocky Top and Fawn Hollow subdivisions, Waters said.
One dozer rolled down the mountain, but neither the operator nor the dozer were hurt, he added.
The dozer pushed a maple tree over and the tract got up on the slick maple, which caused it to tip over.
Waters took the operator to Blount Memorial Hospital where he was checked out and released. The dozer had a dent and a broken windshield.
“It was just a fluke accident,” Waters said.