UPDATE: Signal Mountain brush fire "100% contained" officials sa - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Signal Mountain brush fire "100% contained" officials say

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SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Fire crews on Signal Mountain said the brush fire was 100% contained on Thursday evening. The fire has burned 150 acres.

 It's been an uphill battle trying to get the flames under control in dry and windy conditions, but crews think they've finally caught a break.

"We've come to the day we've been looking for for many days. We've now got the fire contained," said Jim Lane of the Tennessee Forestry Division.

Over the past week, wind has been a problem, causing the fire to jump breaks overnight. But Lane said the breezes have died down, helping crews get the flames under control.

The firefighters have to leave the mountain at dark.

"It's just too dangerous to be up in this rough terrain at night," Lane said.

But this time, they're leaving with a sense of relief, knowing the fire is 100% contained.

"I always keep my fingers crossed," said Lane. "With these conditions, we've got it contained now. But things can happen. What we're going to try to do is make sure that doesn't happen when we leave."

While the fire is contained, the burning continues. Lane tells residents not to be alarmed when they see smoke plumes or embers glowing at night.

"They're gonna burn for a while, so don't be shocked when you look up there and there's still stuff smoking," he said.

Crews will return Friday morning. If the fire stays contained, forestry officials said it could be their final day on the mountain.

if the fire stays contained, forestry officials say it could be their final day on the mountain.


PREVIOUS STORY: Tennessee Forestry Commission officials say the brush fire on Signal Mountain is now contained.

The fire started six days ago.

The dry, windy weather made things extra difficult for fire crews, along with the steep terrain.

Officials say the fire grew to 150 acres before crews could contain it.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: Firefighters continued to battle the large 80 acre brush fire on Signal Mountain, Wednesday. Officials say the blaze is now 75 percent contained. 

"Today we came here this morning, there was a lot of black smoke on the very top," said  Shannon Hayes Gann, Tennessee Forestry Division. 

High winds, steep bluffs make day five as tough as any day before. 

"There is actually a double bluff so there is two bluffs and that makes it to where we can't get our heavy equipment or our dozers in there on that," said Gann. " We have to put in hand lines and a lot of times you can't even climb up on the bluff."

Officials say the fire keeps jumping containment lines on the right side of mountain. Right now, fire breaks near the top and the left side of the 80 acre blaze are holding strong.

Two helicopters from the National Guard are here battling hotspots. 

"It's just so dry that even the cliff duff is burning so it looks like the dirt is burning and then we have a lot of wind which is pushing our embers across our lines and we also have a lot of dead trees and even green tress that are falling across our lines," said Gann. 

The Tennessee Forestry Division now has full command sending all volunteer firefighters back home to their families and jobs.

READ MORE | DAY 4: Crews wrapping up brush fire battle on Signal Mountain 

"We really appreciate their help so much and we could not have gotten to this point with out them," said Gann. 

While no homes are are in danger, they need you to know they're not out of the woods just yet.  

"We have had some people and some four-wheelers going into the woods and it's a very dangerous situation, there is a lot of snags that are falling and a lot of debris in the trees when the helicopters fly over knocking that debris down," said Gann. 

A tree fell and hurt one of the firefighters on Tuesday, he's expected to be okay. Crews need onlookers to stay away because bulldozers are in there knocking down several trees and other burning trees are just tumbling down the mountain. Officials say you can expect to see crews out there for the next several days.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story. 

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