Lookout Mountain Wildfire Nearly Contained - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lookout Mountain Wildfire Nearly Contained

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Chattanoogans are breathing a little easier after the smoke is begins to clear atop Lookout Mountain, where fire crews have been fighting a large wildfire since Thursday.
The Georgia Forestry Commission moves more resources to this rugged area atop lookout mountain, near the tucker branch stream, where a 300 acre wildfire ignited.

"They had it surrounded, but they were gonna shore it up," says resident Etna James, who has watched the firefight from her front window.

Meanwhile, local goat farmer Jill Wyse says she noticed the smoke last night, after warming up her fireplace.

"Why is there so much smoke? Surely that's not from our fireplace," recalls Jill discussing the situation with her husband. "And we looked out and you could see a big glow west of us, across the creek and up on the hill, smoke was everywhere, ash was coming down everywhere like it was snowing and you could tell there was a real major fire going on."

Much of the fire is centered where the tornado hit Lookout Mountain in 2011, leaving plenty of downed trees to help fuel the fire.

Also making it difficult to contain is the rugged location of the fire and strong winds helping stoke the flames and spread the smoke.

Beyond the boots on the ground, the Forestry Commission has been fighting the blaze by air with a single wing plane and helicopter.

Both Jill Wyse and Etna James are impressed. 

"I just want to brag on the forestry department for coming and taking care of it, I have no fears," smiles James.

"These guys are so brave, they were up in bulldozers going up and down in this really steep, hazardous area, straight up in the middle of the night with these bulldozers cutting the fire trenches, they've done such an excellent job," adds Wyse.

Tommy Hankins of the Georgia Forestry Commission says his team will be out on Lookout Mountain Saturday morning, finishing the job and extinguishing any remaining hotspots, while investigators try to determine whether the wildfire was intentionally set.

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