Two brushfires off of Stuart Road and Old Tasso Road were contained and extinguished Thursday afternoon.
The first call reportedly came in for the fire off Stuart Road around 12:30 p.m. According to reports, Station 2 from the Cleveland Fire Department was the first to arrive on the scene, within two minutes. Firefighters from Station 1, 3, and 4 joined within minutes.
“The fire occurred south of 20th Street to a little north of Stuart Road,” Chief Steve Haun of the CFD reported. “The fire was contained and cleared up by 4 p.m.”
According to reports, there were 19 firefighters on the scene to contain the fire and cool off the hot spots. U.S. Forest Service personnel assisted with a plow to dig a ditch to stop the fire from spreading.
The 911 call for the Old Tasso Road fire came in at 1:25 p.m. The fire was within the county limits so the Bradley County Fire and Rescue stations 10, 7, and 9 responded.
According to firefighter Tan Kersley, the first truck was at the scene within five minutes.
“We had two tankers and two brush trucks at the fire,” Kersley explained. “We used the brush trucks to drive into the field and spray the water over the fire.”
Brush trucks are pickup trucks with a slide and a fire pump. The tankers were used to carry water to fill the brush trucks.
According to reports, the fire was contained by 2:10 p.m.. Kersley said there were piles of logs still burning that the firefighters were monitoring, but the fire was not spreading.
Both fires were believed to have begun from sparks flying off the railway as trains went through the area. According to Kersley, the Norfolk Southern Railway was delayed until the firefighters could contain and extinguish the fire.
Haun suggests the public reconsider shooting off fireworks for the upcoming holiday.
“The land is currently very dry, especially in areas with high vegetation,” Haun reported.
According to Kersley, “The low humidity and high heat is a good combination for fires. Our humidity level is currently 23 percent and it is usually 60 to 70 percent. Things tend to burn a lot better when the humidity is low.”
In other news, the Polk County brushfires continue to burn. Information Officer Mary Miller from the Cherokee National Forest reports that there is not a great deal of change.
“The causes of the Iron Mountain Chase fire is under investigation and [the fire covered] about 400 acres,” Miller explained. The fire was not caused by lightning as was previously reported. The Goforth fire and Coon Creek fire are still being watched and contained.
Added Miller, “The West Polk County Volunteer Fire and Rescue and the East Polk County Fire and Rescue are still working on burn and containment lines along with USDA Forest Service in the Cherokee National Forest.” The Tennessee Division of Forestry, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency are also helping with the fire.