Sevier Co. firefighters, residents prepare for wildfire season

Sevier County firefighters, residents prepare for wildfire season

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While East Tennessee has been lucky recently, it's been only six months since fire destroyed 52 cabins in Pigeon Forge. While East Tennessee has been lucky recently, it's been only six months since fire destroyed 52 cabins in Pigeon Forge.
The Firewise Communities Program hosted a workshop in Sevier County called "Living on the Edge" to help people in the area prepare for the danger that living with natural surroundings poses. The Firewise Communities Program hosted a workshop in Sevier County called "Living on the Edge" to help people in the area prepare for the danger that living with natural surroundings poses.
"Fire is a historic component of this ecosystem so if we are going to live here we are going to have to learn to live with fire and be prepared," said District Forester Ted Dailey. "Fire is a historic component of this ecosystem so if we are going to live here we are going to have to learn to live with fire and be prepared," said District Forester Ted Dailey.
"We have increased the distance between cabins so they can't be built as close together," said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. "We have increased the distance between cabins so they can't be built as close together," said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - With fire season just around the corner, officials in Sevier County are making sure their community and surrounding area is prepared for the worst.

Wildfires have been raging in the western United States for months. From Arizona to Washington, few states have been spared. While East Tennessee has been lucky recently, it's been only six months since fire destroyed 52 cabins in Pigeon Forge.

"It made all of us, especially those of us who were there, more aware of how important it is to do everything we can to prevent these fires and when they happen to make sure that we have done everything we can to make them limited as possible," said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters.

The Firewise Communities Program hosted a workshop in Sevier County called "Living on the Edge" to help people in the area prepare for the danger that living with natural surroundings poses.

"Fire is a historic component of this ecosystem so if we are going to live here we are going to have to learn to live with fire and be prepared," said District Forester Ted Dailey.

The workshop offered simple tips that every homeowner can do, like cleaning your gutters, mowing your lawn, storing firewood away from your home and growing only low flammability vegetation.

"We're also going to look at things such as zoning and ordinances that will help ensure that developers build in a responsible way that keeps fires from being a problem in these communities," said Dailey.

Mayor Waters says they've already begun enforcing some improved standards in recent years, especially since this spring's fire.

"We have increased the distance between cabins so they can't be built as close together," said Waters. "We've done some other things in terms of lot size and the availability of water."

While there was a large crowd at the seminar Waters hopes those that weren't in attendance will take a little time to make sure their homes are ready for fire season as well.

For more information on how to make your home and property fire safe click here.

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