The City of Oak Ridge is offering a $500 reward for information that helps resolve what happened in a wildfire on federal property in west Oak Ridge on Saturday afternoon, a press release said. Fireworks are suspected as the cause of the fire.
The brush fire was reported on U.S. Department of Energy land at about 12:27 p.m. Saturday, March 25, west of Wisconsin Avenue and south of Whippoorwill Drive. It was below, or to the south of, a water tower near Whippoorwill Drive. There are homes just to the north of the water tower, and there are homes east of Wisconsin Avenue.
When firefighters arrived Saturday afternoon, they could not locate a fire, but there was smoke in the area, DOE said in a press release Tuesday.
“While the engine was looking for the fire, a hiker came down the trail and reported the fire was located several hundred yards off the road in the woods,” the press release said. “Engine 1 crew began hiking toward the reported location and was able to find the fire. At that time, the fire was approximately five acres and growing.”
The Oak Ridge Fire Department immediately requested assistance from the Tennessee Division of Forestry to respond with bulldozers to cut fire lines around the fire. The battalion chief also requested representatives from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Division of Forestry, since the fire was burning on U.S. Department of Energy property. [Read more…]