OLIVER SPRINGS—A fire that was first reported Sunday afternoon on Walden Ridge a few miles northeast of Oliver Springs had grown to more than 30 acres by Tuesday morning, a state forester said.
The fire is on a steep hillside north of Dutch Valley Road between a Marlow Volunteer Fire Department fire station and Fox Lane.
The cause hasn’t been determined, but it was most likely arson, said Nathan Waters, assistant district forester for the Tennessee Division of Forestry.
He said the fire was originally reported as a campfire, but it appears to have started away from any trails or burn pits, and there was no lightning on Halloween, when smoke was first reported in the area.
It’s on a steep hillside that quickly rises from 1,000 feet to 1,400 feet, and it’s very rocky and there are many cliff faces, Waters said. The area is accessible only to ATVs, and it’s difficult to get water up the hillside. All of which makes firefighting difficult.
But crews are trying to contain the fire, Waters said. They thought they had it controlled yesterday, but “something rolled,” Waters said.
He said most homes are at the bottom of the ridge, away from the mountaintop fire.
No injuries have been reported. Crews from Anderson, Campbell, Knox, and Morgan counties have all participated in fighting the fire.
It’s the second fire in about a year on Walden Ridge. A 225-acre fire in November 2012 was also believed to be caused by arson. That fire, one of several in Anderson County around Thanksgiving and just after it, was north of Dutch Valley Road near Sulphur Springs Road.
Oct. 15 to May 15 is fire season in Tennessee.