Knoxville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 02, 2024
Cocke County Wildfire 20% Contained, Hartford Road Closures Imposed as Crews Battle BlazeSource: Facebook/Cocke County Emergency Management Agency

A wildfire that ignited yesterday evening in Cocke County is being battled by multiple agencies, and has led to closures along a major roadway. The blaze has been reported to be 20% contained earlier today, according to the Cocke County Emergency Management Agency.

The fire spurred a response from several contingents, shutting down Hartford Road from Denton Road to Lindsey Gap Road. The Cocke County EMA advised that the main concern is additional hazards such as loose rock, due to damage to root systems caused by the fire, as WVLT reported. While no injuries or damage to buildings have been reported as of the latest updates, the road is expected to remain closed for hours as authorities work to control the situation.

The transfer of command was made to the U.S. Forest Service and the Tennessee Division of Forestry. These teams are operating under a unified command structure to combat the flames. Furthermore, a few buildings in the Hartford Road area were under threat, but fire crews managed to protect these structures, as detailed by Director Esway on the Cocke County EMA Facebook page.

Residents have been advised to exercise extreme caution when traveling to and from their homes due to the potential of falling rocks or boulders. The announcement came with a note of optimism, indicating that expected rainfall could assist in quelling the blaze, coupled with a caution about winds that might exacerbate the situation by pushing the fire across containment lines, as WBIR reported.

The incident has not seen any aerial operations due to adverse weather conditions, and crews are pressing on to widen containment lines in light of the fire-stimulated dangers. As efforts continue, residents have been advised that Hartford Road will likely be closed throughout the day, and updates will be provided as the situation evolves.