Crews rescue man stranded since Sunday from Sevier Co. brush fire

Local News
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One man was rescued from a Sevier County brush fire early Tuesday after being stranded since a Sunday ATV crash. 

Fire officials say the man, 21-year-old Austin Miller, set the fire to try to draw attention to his location after being stranded following an ATV crash.

Witnesses said at a little after 8 p.m. Monday the brush fire appeared to be snaking down the southwest side of Bluff Mountain. Brook Smith, a federal Department of Agriculture Area forester for Knox, Anderson and Sevier counties confirmed the fire had been contained. 

The Walden’s Creek Fire Department says a man was found while they were trying to put out the fire.

The man was found with a crashed ATV and suffering from a broken ankle, ribs and hypothermia.

Walden’s Creek Fire Department Chief Baker says the man crashed on Sunday and started a fire in an attempt to draw attention to his location. Chief Baker would not confirm that was the source of the brush fire. He was rescued and sent to a local hospital early Tuesday. 

Baker says a member of a Sevier County rescue crew was injured by a falling a tree.

Bluff Mountain is located near the Walden’s Creek area off Wears Valley Road. 

Sevier County, Blount County and Walden’s Creek Fire departments all initially responded to the scene; however, it took the crews hours to locate a safe route up to the fire, according to fire officials.

Miller’s condition has been listed as stable. The crew member who was injured during the rescue efforts will be out on leave for a week. 

Brook Smith, spokesperson with TN Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry, says Miller setting the fire saved his life.

“No one would have found him if they fire wouldn’t have been there,” he said. 

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