Dry conditions fuel forest fire in Campbell County

JACKSBORO, Tenn. (WATE) – Campbell County Sheriff’s Office confirms that the Forestry Service is battling a wildfire in the mountains near Jacksboro at The Devil’s Racetrack.

The Sheriff’s Office says the fire sparked last night in close proximity to interstate 75. The flames are now causing the roadway to be filled with smoke.

Crews spent the day trying to put out the flames, which continue to spread where people hike near the Cumberland Trail in Campbell County.

Bob Fulcher, park manager, said crews have their work cut out for them.

“This fire is on the front end of the Cumberland plateau, the Cumberland uplift and therefore this terrain is going to be steep and rocky,” Fulcher said. “Fire moves pretty quickly up these mountain slopes, because they’re some of the steepest in Tennessee.”

Fulcher said rocky terrain is making the fire difficult for crews to get to and the drought-like conditions are causing the fire to quickly spread. The blaze already engulfing 20 acres, with members of the Forestry expecting the fire to spread to up to 200 acres.

So far officials do not know how large of an area is on fire or whether any structures are in danger.

Still, experts urge people in the area to use caution.

“People have to be very careful at times like this,” Fulcher said. “It can create great danger.”

Our sister station WATE 6 On Your Side has a crew on the scene gathering the latest information on the story.

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