Fire crews work to contain blaze in Tennessee

Friday, November 16, 2001

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- U.S. Forest Service, state and volunteer crews worked Thursday to contain a 520-acre wildfire that has left a smoky haze over mountain resort communities.

An air tanker dropped fire retardant along the rocky, steep hillside as 130 firefighters worked on the ground to contain the fire. Some firefighters were sent from Western states, and about 40 more were on their way.

Seven homes were within 200 yards of the fire, said John Fox, Sevier County emergency management director. The fire is burning near Pigeon Forge, about 30 miles southeast of Knoxville.

"We still have a ways to go," said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Dave Freeland, who was brought in from California. "The fire isn't raging out of control but if we get some low humidities or higher winds it could flare up and be out of control in a short period of time."

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