3 brush fires slow traffic on I-40 West in Middle Tennessee

(WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Crews battled three brush fires along Interstate 40 West in both Davidson and Cheatham counties on Tuesday.

Traffic was backed up for miles ahead of the fires, but eastbound lanes were not affected.

Two of the fires were reported in Nashville, one near the McCrocry Lane exit and the other near the Highway 70 exit. Nashville Fire Department spokesman Joseph Pleasant says 10 acres burned in all, but no one was injured and the brush fires were contained.

“It’s very dry right now. Given we’re on the interstate it’s very possible someone might have flicked a cigarette out the window and that may have started the fire.” said Pleasant. “We want everyone to be mindful with what they’re doing with cigarette butts.”

The third fire, reported around 12:30 p.m., burned one to two acres near the Kingston Springs exit in Cheatham County. Officials told News 2 it appears to be suspicious but an exact cause wasn’t immediately known.

Pegram Fire Chief Brent Stuart said his crews were up against tough conditions while fighting the flames.

“You’ve got briars everywhere and trees also that were catching fire,” he said. “We had to take down some trees so we don’t have to come back later on. The wind was also blowing at us, which was causing some problems.”

Witnesses of the Cheatham County fired are asked to please email fred.page@nashville.gov with any information you may have.

In a rare move, Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture stopped issuing burn permits for the entire state on Wednesday.

A Division of Forestry spokesperson said the dry, windy conditions prevailed across the state. Permits are required for anyone burning debris within 500 feet of a forest, grassland or woodland.

It’s likely the permits will be issued as soon as Thursday.

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