Brush fires across TN Valley contained - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Brush fires across TN Valley contained

Story by Fatima Rahmatullah
Eyewitness News Reporter

CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)-- Hundreds of acres of land have burned in North Georgia brush fires.

For the month of October, 400-acres have burned in 13 fires in Dade County.

Twelve fires have burned 45 acres in Walker County.

Thirty-five acres have been scorched in 11 brush fires in Chattooga County.

And, three fires have burned 27 acres in Catoosa County.

That doesn't include a fire burning near Ringgold right now.

The fire is 100% contained but has already burned 61 acres that crews spent Friday mopping up.

"When you walked in the deck you wanted to go back inside cause it was so bad," says Chattanooga resident Eli Mitchell.

Brush fires burning in nearly seven counties around the Tennessee Valley have been a nuisance to Eli and his brother Ethan Mitchell. The smoke has made it hard to breathe and see.

"The cars were driving in front of us, they drive faster and then the next thing you know they disappeared into the smoke," says Ethan Mitchell.

In Catoosa County, Chief Ranger Chuck Arnold says the fire started Thursday afternoon.

A man was burning natural vegetation in his backyard when the fire escaped, spreading into his field and wooded area nearby.

"We've back-burned all this to burnout the undone field, but when you cut privet down, give it about two days, it's just like kennel, it torches, it really burns hot," says Chief Ranger Chuck Arnold.

The Georgia Forestry Commission is conducting a burnout operation hoping to clean all the unburned fuel.

Crews are using bulldozers to dig small trenches around the flames. The trenches keep the fire from fueling any further. Arnold says people need to be very careful burning vegetation.

"Big dead oak tree. Those are things you got to watch out for, it will catch on fire. Actually catch on fire burn, all the way up top, fall across your land. Then you got another control problem," says Arnold.

Once again that fire is still burning but is contained. So far 61 acres have burned.

The man who accidentally started the fire had a permit and will not be charged.

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