By Gary Wilson, Chief
Fairfield Mountains Fire Department
It has been (can you believe it!) almost a year since the Party Rock Fire in November 5th, 2016. While the Town and Rumbling Bald Resort recognized the local area departments last year at the resort’s Terrace who helped with the fire suppression, evacuation and structure protection for almost three weeks, I wanted in some way to thank those departments in the rest of our county and Polk County who came to assist us along with Bills Creek Fire Department who were here during the entirety of the fire.
A cookout was held and attended by representatives from Hudlow Fire, Bills Creek Fire, Cherry Mtn Fire, Green Hill Fire of Rutherford County. Columbus Fire, Mill Spring Fire, Sunnyview Fire, NCFS of Polk County attended. HNGEMS and Polk County EMS were also in attendance. Fifteen members of Fairfield Mountains Firefighters and Auxiliary were there to help cook, serve and we appreciate their help.
The question is always asked, “How can we avoid a similar situation with an accidental fire?” The best thing to keep in mind is to avoid burning at all unless absolutely necessary and when you do never burn during dry and windy conditions with low humidity. Never burn in a wooded area and never burn unless you have a water hose accessible.
Check with local fire officials first before burning, make sure you have a burning permit from the Forestry Service. Know what materials can and cannot be legally burned. Spring and fall are typically the worse times to burn because of dry conditions being more likely along with wind and low humidity. If you see smoke, don’t hesitate to call and make sure it is checked out.