KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The first weekend in June, people across East Tennessee have a chance to learn from the best when it comes to protecting property against wildfires.
The 2023 Wildfire Preparedness Expo marks the second year of the community event, which was initially created after the Indigo Lane – Hatcher Mountain Wildfire in 2022.
Those who attend will have an opportunity to visit a variety of different booths to gain valuable information on how to be prepared for wildfires, in addition to live demonstrations and kid’s activities. New for 2023, is an aerial exhibit that will involve one of the helicopters often used to help put out wildfires.
Sevier County Fire and Rescue Chief David Puckett shared some advice homeowners can easily start to implement at any time.
“We want to have a defensible space around your structure and what that is is an area clear of fuels,” Chief Puckett said. “I’m not saying you have to cut all of your trees or anything like that, but you don’t want to have things like mulch right up against the house or an abundance of leaves on the roof.”
Puckett also said even though the wildfire season in the Smokies typically comes to an end this time of year, he said it’s important to always be making safety improvements. He encourages his community to come out and learn the different ways to keep their families safe from wildfires.
The upcoming Wildfire Preparedness Expo will be held on Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sevier County Fairgrounds, located at 754 Old Knoxville Highway in Sevierville. The event is free for everyone to attend.