As of 15 Oct. the season requiring Burn Permits opened and on Wed. I attended a meeting conducted by the Dept. of Forestry at Cumberland Cove. At this meeting Jim Dale explained the Severe Drought status our area is rated as. The drought is so severe that downed trees on the forest floor are almost dry and are listed as a viable fuel source for fire. Normally these logs are saturated with moisture and are highly resistant to fire. At a recent fire in Chattanooga these logs were completely consumed by fire and turned to ash.  

Jim explained in the meeting that our area is under a “Burn Ban” and permits are NOT being issued until further notice. He noted that this has been determined to be the best method the initiate the ban. In order to lift the ban we would need to experience several days of slow soaking rains. Also, he noted that in the “plateau area” forestry are experiencing spot fires being set by vandals using ATV’s for fast get away and we should all be on alert and question ANY fires in or area. Thomas Torbleau Cumberland Lakes Neighborhood Watch