Note: This story was last updated at 10:15 a.m. Nov. 24.
PETROS—One forest fire that has burned close to 800 acres since Sunday had scorched down to the north side of Petros by Wednesday evening, and a second nearby mountain fire that residents said started Wednesday morning billowed smoke across a section of Highway 62 south of Petros, near Petros-Joyner School in Morgan County.
The first fire, the one that firefighters have been battling since Sunday, is the Bald Knob Road fire. It’s named for a road that runs east out of Petros. It had charred 790 acres as of noon Wednesday, according to the Tennessee Division of Forestry. The fire is a suspected arson, and it was 60 percent contained on Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday evening, firefighters appeared to have set back fires, which they use to contain blazes, near several homes in Petros, including off Armes Road in north Petros.
That fire had grown from what was reported to be a few hundred acres on Monday, when it emitted a smoke plume that could be seen for miles, including in Oak Ridge, to about 450 acres on Tuesday. It had almost doubled in size by Wednesday. [Read more…]