Forest fires on the rise due to lack of rain

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – More than 300 forest fires have occurred in East Tennessee since the beginning of fire season and many say that could be because of the lack of rain.

“It makes it awful hard to do anything with,” says Campbell County resident Garry Phillips.  “We just try to keep it away from our house and let it burn itself out. that is all we can do.”

Phillips says it’s so dry in his area because they haven’t seen rain in 2 months and the conditions are not making it easy for fire crews.

Assistant District Forester Nathan Waters says not only are crews spending so much time on fires, but they’re also responding to them more frequently.

“They have the potential right now if we have the wind and the conditions are right just to burn for weeks,” says Waters. “There is a potential we could run out of crews.”

In all of Tennessee, the Department of Agriculture says there have been more than 900 fires this season.

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