UPDATE 3: Wildfire on Signal Mountain
By Greg Glover
Eyewitness News Anchor
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- The danger is over for residents of Signal Mountain. A wildfire burned from Sunset Drive up almost to the Palisades area.
Though firefighters acted quickly and effectively, it was a little 'close for comfort' for some who's homes were threatened.
"I could smell it when I came in and I thought, 'oh it must be an area fireplace," says Signal Mountain resident, Brenda Pollard.
Turns out, a brush fire had gotten out of control. A homeowner on Sunset Drive told Eyewitness News he'd let it get away from him.
He had a burn permit, but that didn't stop the embers from setting fire to nearby kudzu.
Monday afternoon, the fire began spreading north, up the face of Signal Mountain, toward some large houses on Palisades.
"It really gave me a scare. Definitely. I thought, 'uh oh, if it starts coming up this way, we gotta get out of here!," says Pollard.
Pollard has lived on the mountain for 30 years. She say, this is the kind of thing she's always feared.
"It's scary when you think about fire, because I automatically think of California and the homes there that are on the ridges and how fast they go up," says Pollard.
Thanks to about 50 firefighters from 8 different departments, with tanker trucks relaying water to hoses for hours, there were no injuries and no damage to anything but underbrush.
The County's emergency services chief gives the effort high marks.
"Oh, I think it was an A+. When you don't lose a house, it's always an A+. Especially with conditions like they were; steep mountain slopes, rugged terrain. Those things are not conducive to being able to get to it with big trucks. So, we had to do it by manpower," says Hamilton County Emergency Services Chief Tony Reavley.
In the end, 12-15 acres had burned. Tennessee Forestry took over after fire crews finished and is investigating.