By LISA JOHNSON
Times Staff Writer
On Sunday, September 22 just days after the institution of a burn ban, a ground fire was reported at 1:30pm on Campton Rd, just north of Slade. The fire scorched the mountain beside a business and endangered a nearby cabin development. Fire Departments from Middle Fork, Stanton and Tri Community responded along with the US Forest Service. The fire was listed as a controlled burn and the cause is under investigation. The fire was under control by 4:30pm. The first responders asked us to express their appreciation to the Wilcox family for the snacks and cold water.
Seventy-one nearby counties, including Estill and Wolfe, have issued burn bans due to the drought-like conditions. These bans usually forbid burning of forest, grass, crops, woodlands, marshes or other similar areas, burning leaves or debris, campfires, bonfires and warming fires, open pit cooking and charcoal grilling along with the use of fireworks and welding. In November of 2016, under similar conditions, a wildfire tore through the Smokey Mountains region of Tennessee claiming 14 lives and injuring 134 others.