Crews battling Unicoi Co. forest fire focusing on hot spots, cutting dead trees

Unicoi County forest fire

UPDATE: Crews battling a forest fire on Sciota Road in Unicoi County made progress Friday, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

According to a news release, crews focused on putting out hot spots and cutting dead trees along containment lines.

Officials said residents in the surrounding community will continue to see smoke until a significant rain happens, or until crews can burn out the area between the fire and the containment line.

The decision to conduct a burnout will depend on weather and fire behavior.

According to the release, the Sciota Road fire started on March 29 in the Sciota Creek drainage east of Unicoi, which quickly spread across the Little Mountain ridge due to high winds that day.

Fire crews from nearby National Forests and the Tennessee Department of Forestry responded to the fire.

The forest fire spread to 191 acres and containment increased to 60 percent Friday. Around 100 firefighters are working to contain the fire, which includes three 20-person hand crews, three engines, one helicopter and one dozer.

No structure damage has been reported and no injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to be human-caused.

The cost of fighting the fire is estimated to be around $110,000.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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