Home » Waynesboro Wildfire Burns Sixteen Acres Before Being Contained

Waynesboro Wildfire Burns Sixteen Acres Before Being Contained

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A fire that began around the old Skelton Sawmill property in Waynesboro was reported at 2:03 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, and burned approximately 16 acres before it was fully contained just after 5:00 p.m.

Wayne County Emergency Management Director Brian Smith said that the fire was first spotted and reported at the intersection of Highway 64 Bypass and Skelton Sawmill Road. Fire Departments that responded were Waynesboro City, Station 1 (Waynesboro), Station 3 (Beech Creek), Station 8 (Eagle Creek), Station 9 (Ovilla), and the Tennessee Division of Forestry. The Waynesboro Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol assisted with traffic control.

As Tennessee heads into the fall fire season, last week was observed as National Fire Prevention Week. Due to the drier conditions and leaf litter that accompany autumn in our state, a debris burn permit is required for leaf and brush pile fires beginning October 15, and residents are urged to take appropriate fire safety measures.

“There is a heightened risk of wildland fire this month in Tennessee,” State Forester David Arnold said. “Risks associated with careless debris burning are high, particularly during fire season when conditions are dry and natural fuel is abundant. If you plan to burn, you must obtain a permit where local governments don’t have established outdoor burning ordinances. Remember to stay with your fire, establish a safe perimeter, and keep tools on hand to control the burn.”

Although the origin of the Skelton Sawmill fire is still unknown, the burning of 16 acres in that short period of time shows just how easily a fire can spread in these dry conditions. When planning to burn anything on your own property, remember to GET A PERMIT. A permit is required from the Tennessee Division of Forestry from October 15 to May 15. Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning.

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