East Tennessee wildfire consumes over 1,400 acres; Arson suspected

(Courtesy: WATE)

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – Difficult terrain and extremely dry conditions continue to fuel an Anderson County wildfire.

East Tennessee Assistant District Forester Nathan Waters said crews have been fighting the fire since Thursday.

The fire, located off State Route 116 in Anderson County near Rosedale School, has charred nearly 1,400 acres.

(Courtesy: WATE)
(Courtesy: WATE)

“The technician felt on this one, and it is under investigation, that it was probably arson,” said Waters. “We encourage anyone that has information about this or any other fire to call 9-1-1 or call the sheriff’s department and they’ll contact us and try to catch these people.”

Fire departments from three different counties and the Tennessee Division of Forestry are working to make sure the fire does not endanger people living at the bottom of the mountain.

Fire crews say they feel like they have most of the fire contained.

There were concerns the flames would reach a nearby cabin. Even though there aren’t any homes on the mountain, Waters said the fire is devastating.

“They’re damaging a resource, they’re damaging the wildlife habitat, they’re damaging the trees,” said Waters. “We need to be good stewards of our land. This is not being a good steward.”

Waters said state arson investigators are continuing to investigate the fire. He encourages people to take caution before lighting a fire and to check if your area is under a burn ban.