WARTBURG (WATE) - It's a hazardous and illegal problem, someone is dumping dozens of old tires then setting them on fire in the middle of a state forest in Morgan County.
Investigators say they found tires along Rattler's Ridge Road in Lone Mountain in Morgan County. So far, it's hard to say if the same person who dumped the tires set the fire, and that's why investigators need your help.
We checked out some of the damage and learned the person responsible could face thousands of dollars in fines.
It's a mess you would never expect to see in Lone Mountain State Forest, nearly 60 tires were dumped and scattered along the road during the weekend of May 1st.
"To have somebody just throw out a bunch of cans or tires, set it on fire, it' s just disappointing," said Forestry Technician Steve Johnson.
Johnson took us along the route he takes once a day to make sure the forest stays green and quiet.
"Back at the end of the road they dumped the rest and looks like possibly set about 18 or 20 on fire," he said.
That's worrisome because it's now fire season in Tennessee.
"The woods are dry, we're about to be greened up and fire season will slack off, but any time you have a fire in the woods it's a danger," said Johnson.
The state's Agricultural Crime Unit is now investigating and working on any and all leads. Johnson says during that weekend someone witnessed a person with a truck and trailer coming out of the forest.
Since then, the tires have been cleaned up. "We want people to enjoy it and not just trash it up," said Johnson.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Morgan County Sheriff's Department at (423) 346-6262.