Warren County wildfire jumps ridge and continues to burn

WARREN COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) – A wildfire in Warren County continues to burn, despite the round-the-clock efforts of volunteer firefighters for the past 36 hours. Several communities, including the community of Hills Creek, are now being asked to evacuate as a precaution.

Harrison Ferry Volunteer Fire Chief Lynn Curtis knows exactly where and what he’s up against.

“Right in that general area right there,” Curtis said, pointing to a map. “And those wind conditions too, I mean they’re fighting against us.”

The problem is – how can he set up teams to fight the fire?

“The location of the fire was down and under the cliff on the side of the mountain. And access to get in there was almost non-existent,” Curtis said.

Fire crews were therefore forced to watch 70 acres of wilderness around Spring Creek burn while firefighters surveyed all potential homes and structures.

“(We have) set up scene stations with several different fire departments throughout this area, and protecting structures as the fire moves up and out of the gulf,” he said.

The effort was round the clock for this purely volunteer force.

“I haven’t been in a bed since night before last,” Curtis said.

That is, until hope flies away with a chain and a bucket.

“Today we got lucky. We had a Blackhawk,” he said.

The Tennessee National Guard is a game-changer, as it can dump water from a nearby pond directly onto the fire in places where firefighters simply can’t get to it due to terrain. Once the guard arrived, it became the first chance to fight the fire head-on.

“It’s putting a hammer on it,” Curtis said, as he watched from a command post.

The wildfire started Monday morning near a yoga and spiritual retreat called Isha. According to the Warren County Sheriff, someone banished from the property set up camp and fired shots at Isha’s property, and it got out of control from there.

“That’s the least of my worries, how it started or who started it,” Chef Curtis explained.

All the Chief cares about is when this nightmare in Warren County can end.

“Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and do it,” Curtis said.

Fortunately, so far no homes or structures have been damaged by the fire.

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