SEVERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Those considering burning should think twice, as gusty winds may have contributed to multiple brush fires in East Tennessee since Wednesday afternoon.
WATE Storm Team explained that Thursday’s balmy 80-degree high was made possible by the gusty winds from the southwest. While it could seem like a great temperature outside to burn, the winds may make that hazardous.
Sevier County EMA shared around 10 a.m. Thursday that no burn permits would be issued for the day after a brush fire on Clabo Mountain Way in Wears Valley was fully contained. The fire was reported late Wednesday night and spread to approximately 5 acres, threatening 6 structures. Crews with multiple other fire departments, the Tennessee Division of Forestry, and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office responded.
Sevier County Fire and Rescue Chief David Pickett explained that permits were not being issued Thursday because of dry conditions and expected warm winds, according to Sevier County Mayor Bryan McCarter.
“We are seeing an uptick in brush fires across the county in recent weeks. ”Chief David Puckett said. “Several of these brush fires have been caused by debris burns. We remind the public to not burn debris without a permit and to follow all the local and state regulations which can be found at www.burnsafetn.org.”
Around 4:20 Wednesday afternoon, White Pine Fire Department in Jefferson County also shared that they were working on a brush fire. By 5:35, the fire was under control.
From October 15 to May 15, burn permits are required by the Division of Forestry for anyone starting an open-air fire near a forest, grassland, or woodland.
To find out how to request a burn permit and how to safely burn debris, click here.