KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Following two brush fires within close proximity in East Knox County, firefighters are on the lookout for more of the same.
“Mainly woods, grass, leaves, lots of under brush,” Jeff Bagwell with Knox Rural Metro said. “Temperatures are good, the humidity is low, which means it’s prime season and prime conditions for a brush fire.”
The fires occurred less than four miles apart on Moshina Road and Campbell Road. While Rural Metro crews were able to contain the flames, Bagwell said that people need to practice caution.
“People don’t seem to understand the dead leaves on the ground are the best way that fire travels once fire gets down on the ground in these kind of conditions,” Bagwell said.
Depending on weather conditions such as wind and dryness, fires can spread over several acres within a matter of minutes.
“We don’t need just a little bit of rain, we need days of rain to make up where we’re at,” Bagwell said. “But the one thing I tell people is, just don’t burn.”
Bagwell also emphasized that the smoke itself can cause other problems.
“It’s very irritating,” Bagwell said. “And for those neighbors of ours that have breathing disorders, those kind of things, it just adds to that problem of them being able to breathe which some of us take for granted.”
A burn ban is in effect for Knox County, however, even when conditions are not dry enough to require a burn ban, a burn permit from the Tennessee Division of Forestry is required for debris burning within 500 feet of a forest, grassland or woodland.