Flipper Bend wildfire 80% contained; 64 residents evacuated - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

WILDFIRE WATCH

Flipper Bend wildfire 80% contained; 64 residents evacuated

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SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN (WRCB) -

Thursday was the second night away from home for 64 residents on Signal Mountain.

The Flipper Bend wildfire that has burned more than 800 acres forced those families to evacuate the Boston Branch neighborhood last night.

As of Thursday evening, Tennessee Forestry Division officials said the fire was 80% contained, but it still wasn't safe for residents to return home.

Until it is, firefighters are keeping a close eye on the neighborhood.

"Firefighters will continue to remain at Boston Branch throughout the night," said Amy Maxwell, Hamilton Co. Emergency Services spokesperson.  

Over the past two days, firefighters have sprayed water on the land below Little Bend Rd. to keep the flames away.

"We're here just to keep the fire contained in the fire breaks, and let it burn," Maxwell explained. "We're not here to actually put that out. We're here to protect property."

While the homes near the fire lines are guarded by firefighters and Sheriff's deputies, the Tennessee Forestry Division works to contain the fire, as a whole.

"Today, we've made some good progress. We've got about 80% of it contained," said forester Shannon Gann.

Forestry officials are optimistic. The fire line crews were worried about, the one that if breached would've put homes in Boston Branch at risk, has held.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Wildfire forces some Signal Mountain residents to evacuate

"We actually put in a secondary line, just for safety issues," said Gann. "The first line did jump in a couple small places, but the secondary line held. So that's looking good right now."

The fire has not damaged any homes. Crews rely on lower temperatures and humidity at night. Changing conditions force them to adjust.

"It's just Mother Nature. We just have to see where it takes us," Maxwell said. "But we're here. We're here to respond and protect in any way, shape or form."

It's still unclear exactly when residents will be able to return home. Forestry officials will reassess the fire lines in the morning.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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