OLIVER SPRINGS—The Walden Ridge fire first reported Sunday burned about 71 acres, but it is contained now, a state forester said Wednesday afternoon.
Fire crews have been able to use a bulldozer to clear a line around the blaze and contain it, said Nathan Waters, assistant district forester for the Tennessee Division of Forestry. They also used leaf blowers to move leaves—which can serve as light fuel—away from homes along Dutch Valley Road and to help build fire lines.
Waters said firefighters, who have left Walden Ridge, will check back again this afternoon and also tomorrow. They could continue to check back until the area gets a significant rain.
Firefighters reported they had the flames contained Tuesday, but a property owner reported on Wednesday that the blaze appeared to have broken out again. However, fire crews who responded said the burning material was inside the containment lines, Waters said.
The fire is on a hillside north of Dutch Valley Road between a Marlow Volunteer Fire Department fire station and Fox Lane, just a few miles northeast of downtown Oliver Springs. The rocky ridge terrain quickly rises from 1,000 feet to 1,400 feet, and there are many cliff faces.
On Tuesday, Waters reported that the Walden Ridge blaze had grown to more than 30 acres. He said the cause of the fire in an area accessible only to ATVs hadn’t been determined, but it was most likely arson.
No injuries have been reported. Crews from Anderson, Campbell, Knox, and Morgan counties have all participated in fighting the fire, and as many as 10 firefighters have responded.
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.
Note: This story was updated at 2:20 p.m.