Forestry officials say Campbell County wildfire could be arson

Forestry officials say Campbell County wildfire could be arson

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Forestry officials say they think the fire was intentionally set along the trail near a place called Devil's Racetrack. Forestry officials say they think the fire was intentionally set along the trail near a place called Devil's Racetrack.
Crews say it started on the Cumberland Trail in Caryville, and breezy conditions helped it spread quickly. Crews say it started on the Cumberland Trail in Caryville, and breezy conditions helped it spread quickly.

By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

CARYVILLE (WATE) - Firefighters have spent much of Friday and Saturday battling a wildfire in Campbell County.     

They say it started on the Cumberland Trail in Caryville, and breezy conditions helped it spread quickly.

Forestry officials say they think the fire was intentionally set along the trail near a place called Devil's Racetrack. They say the fire was mostly contained by Saturday night, but some people say they have been watching the flames creep closer and closer to their homes.

"I was just kind of like oh well no big deal, and then this morning we woke up and there was smoke all the way through our house so we were just kind of like oh boy and we walked out and it looked closer and closer," said Myranda Carmany.

Carmany and her neighbors say when the fire started Friday afternoon they were not too worried about it.

"Last night I seen it when I was coming from Jacksboro. I was coming this way and I saw it on the side of the mountain, and I knew it was above my house," said Steve Jordan.

By early Saturday evening dozens of acres had burned, and the flames were creeping closer to home.

"It's always scary you know your belongings in your house and you don't want anything crazy like that to happen," said Carmany.

Forestry officials say the fire started on the Cumberland Trail not near any homes or power lines, and crews say they have reason to believe someone intentionally set at least two places on fire.

"People's watching and we have our hoses out. No one's going to let it get into our homes and it's burning mostly underbrush," said Jordan.

Crews used bull dozers to draw lines through the forest hoping to keep the fire from spreading onto the homes below.

By nightfall that seemed to be working, but once the sun went down they say it was too dangerous to keep those dozers moving.

Even with fire nearing their back yards, some people are able to keep a sense of calm.

"It's not like out in out west in California and those places where it goes above the tree line, so I don't think there's too much for us to worry about, just a little bit of smoke inhalation is all," said Jordan.

Crews say they will keep an eye on the fire overnight and resume fighting the flames early Sunday morning.

No homes were evacuated.

Forestry officials say by the time they get all the flames put out, nearly 200 acres could burn.

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