Wildland fires in Tennessee are suppressed by mechanical and manual means. Forest fires in mountainous terrain are often fought by crews using hand tools. On rolling and flat terrain, bulldozers are used to attack wildfires by making fire lines. In either situation, a firebreak is cleared two to ten feet in width down to mineral soil. Sometimes fire is set along the firebreak to widen it and burn out fuels ahead of the wildfire. Wherever fires are accessible by roads or fields, water is sprayed on fires from small pumper units carried on pickup trucks.
Division employees work in tandem with the state’s Volunteer Fire Departments and Rescue Squads to protect forest resources as well as the homes and other structures in the path of wildfire. When houses are built in the woods, a situation called wildland/urban interface is created. There are steps homeowners can take to help make their houses safe from wildfire. The National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Protection Program web site provides information on protecting your home from wildfire.
Tennessee typically has a spring and fall fire season. The spring fire season, prompted by warming weather, begins about February 15 and ends near May 15th, when the forest has usually "greened up" enough to prevent the rapid spread of forest fires. Fall fire season begins around October 15, when the leaves begin to fall and usually ends December 15th due to shorter, cooler, wetter days. Because of the variations in weather, wildland fires can occur any time during the year. It is important to note that a burning permit is required for outdoor burning during the period between October 15th and May 15th. Click here to bookmark this page.
REPORTING A FOREST FIRE:
Call the emergency number listed in the front of your telephone book or call 911