Up in Smoke: Wildfires continue to burn
Story by Fatima Rahmatullah
Eyewitness News Reporter
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)-- For more than a week now, residents in Hamilton County have been dealing with smoke from brush fires.
Officials say the fire is contained, but that hasn't eased all concerns.
You might have woken up to a foggy day Monday morning but it's actually smoke. Fire crews have been fighting wildfires in the North Chickamauga gorge.
Nearly 90 crew members from Tennessee State Parks, Division of Forestry and local and volunteer fire departments have worked together putting out the fires.
So far almost 300 acres have burned.
"Horrible, my goodness, it's just like you walk outside, you think it's a fog and in reality it's just all the smoke and it's just laying," says Patty Stanfield.
Patty Stanfield lives near Thrasher Pike and says the smoke is so bad, especially for people who have asthma.
"Allergies, they sometimes bother me, you know? But, this right here, it's enough to mess your head up," says Stanfield.
Judy Parrot's boyfriend recently had open heart surgery. He likes to go outside to get fresh air but now he can't.
"He went out on the front porch, but he had to come right back in. He couldn't stay out there," says Judy Parrott.
Parrot says she's a little frustrated because folks don't know much about the fire, except there's a fire.
"I think they should keep people more informed about what's going on with it, you know, so people know, like people with breathing problems can stay indoors and not get outside," says Parrott.
Area forester Tom Hudlow and his guys have worked on fire since Friday.
"I would consider this one 100% contained because we do have a line around the complete fire, but it is not out at this point," says Tom Hudlow.
Now, workers are checking for hotspots.
"There's not been any homes directly threatened by the fire. The closest structures that we know of are in access of a 1/2 mile away from it, so they are not in danger," says Hudlow.
Hudlow says it's common to have wildfires this time of year. He recommends folks clear leaves in their yards and move fire wood away from the house.
They should also give at least 30 feet of green space around their homes.