KNOXVILLE (AP) - The state has suspended burn permits for residents in a dozen East Tennessee counties because of dry conditions and a rash of wildfires.
"We appreciate the public's cooperation in this as state forestry firefighting resources have been stretched thin," fire prevention forester Nathan Waters said Monday.
Twenty fires in the 12-county Knoxville district over the weekend burned 240 acres. Three were debris fires and citations were issued. Fifteen were arson. One was from a campfire and one was sparked by railroad work.
The largest were a 75-acre fire in Scott County on Friday, a 50-acre arson fire in Scott County on Saturday and two 2 1/2-acre arson fires in Scott and Anderson counties on Sunday.
The ban on burn permits affects Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott and Union counties.
Burn permits can be obtained without cost over the phone from the state Forestry Division. Persons caught burning debris without notification will be cited. Violators can be fined up to $50 plus court costs and up to 30 days in jail.