CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) — Anderson County officials said Thursday that the wildfire burning near Rocky Top, which began Saturday evening had grown to an estimated 397 acres and reached 100% containment.
That’s according to information provided to the Anderson County Emergency Management Agency by the Tennessee Division of Forestry.
Forestry crews continue clearing lines of the foliage that has fallen to the ground. Anderson County said the crews estimate that they cut 5.1 miles of fire line around the wildfire since it was first reported.
“Our firefighters, whether they are from our local volunteer or municipal departments, as well as the crews from the Tennessee Division of Forestry, have played a very important role in efforts to contain this wildfire and, most importantly, to protect the properties and lives of so many of our residents. Without the dedication and hard work of each of them, 52 homes and 43 outbuildings could have been lost to this blaze,” Leean Tupper, public information officer for Anderson County Emergency Management Agency, said. “We want to thank all of those who have worked so tirelessly to ensure that our community is safe and to bring this wildfire under control,” she said.
Anderson County EMA is still encouraging residents to refrain from burning any outside debris, utilizing outdoor gas or charcoal grills, or starting campfires or bonfires. The Tennessee Division of Forestry currently is not issuing any burn permits.
“Without the help from our municipal and volunteer fire departments, and the local firefighting personnel who have responded in the last few days, 52 homes and 43 outbuildings could have been impacted by this wildfire,” Anderson County EMA Director Brice Kidwell said early Wednesday afternoon.
As of now, the county says none of those structures near the wildfire have been lost.
“With winds sustained at 5 to 10 mph today, and higher gusts expected, firefighters with the state forestry division are continuing to fight the blaze, monitor fire lines, and reinforce the lines they’ve already dug to help contain the fire,” a Wednesday news release stated.
The firefighting efforts have been ongoing this week. Crews with the Tennessee Division of Forestry were on the scene to help with containment efforts.
“Forestry is back on the scene this morning,” Anderson County Emergency Management Agency Director Brice Kidwell said Tuesday morning. “They are working to reinforce and clean up the lines they’ve dug over the last few days.”
Forestry crews will be doing some more “back-burning” Tuesday in an effort to fully contain the wildfire, according to the county. Due to the planned back-burning, people may see more smoke and hazy skies later.
The Mayor’s office added that members of the public can receive updates from the scene by downloading the Anderson County E-911 app, which is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated.