Tennessee firefighters reported a new fire on Redoak Mountain on the Anderson-Campbell county line early Sunday afternoon.
The fire was initially estimated at about 100 acres, and firefighters were responding from the Tennessee Division of Forestry and Claiborne County. There are several houses on the Anderson County side, said Nathan M. Waters, Tennessee Forestry Division assistant district forester.
The fire is off Highway 116, which is also known as New River Highway in northern Anderson County. It’s in steep, strip-mining country west of Briceville and in an area close to the Graves Gap fire that was reported as a 100-acre fire on Thanksgiving but grew to 375 acres on Friday.
Waters said a crew of a half-dozen firefighters is responding from Claiborne County to help state firefighters. The cause of the Redoak Mountain fire is not known, but it could be arson since it’s in an area prone to arson, including spots in nearby Scott County, Waters said.
“That’s typical for this area,” Waters said.
It could be the third major wildfire in Anderson County in the past week. The other 225-acre fire started on Walden Ridge north of Dutch Valley Road on Tuesday. It was a suspected arson, and so was the Graves Gap fire, which was considered mostly out on Saturday.
State and local fire departments and volunteers have responded to a string of fires in upper East Tennessee in the past week or so—including 16 since Thanksgiving—and many of them are suspected arsons. The fires have burned hundreds of acres, and two firefighters were slightly injured battling blazes in Campbell County on Saturday.
On Sunday morning, Waters said fire conditions have deteriorated, with lower humidity and gusty winds expected at higher elevations.
More information will be added as it becomes available.