Fire on the Mountain Sunday Nov. 5 and Monday Nov. 6

On November 5, 2023, at approximately 11:15 a.m., the South Pittsburg Mountain Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to Jackson Point Rd for a wildland fire. Engine 1 responded with six members. Sewanee TN Volunteer Fire Department also responded.
A unified command was established, operations began, and Tennessee Forestry was notified. Command requested Jasper Highlands Fire Department, South Pittsburg Fire Department, Haletown Volunteer Fire Department, Marion County EMA, Stevenson Fire (Stevenson, AL), and Elder Mountain Fire for equipment and manpower. Command had pumpers at homes protecting them and trying to knock the fire down until Tennessee Forestry could arrive.
Once Tennessee Forestry came onto the scene, they used three dozers to start cutting fire lines to contain the fire. Tennessee Forestry then notified the command that they had it under control and advised all fire units could return to stations. Command released all units and terminated command at approximately 2:42 p.m.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., South Pittsburg Mountain Fire was dispatched back out to Jackson Point Rd at the request of Tennessee Forestry for structural protection of homes.
South Pittsburg Mountain Fire again requested Sewanee Fire and Stevenson Fire to respond. Once on scene, Command was established again. Command notified dispatch they were setting up at three homes per Tennessee Forestry for protection.
Monteagle Fire & Rescue was requested by Tennessee Forestry for a rake team. Monteagle Fire notified Command of this request and advised they were responding with an Engine and Tanker.
Tennessee Forestry requested Command to start spraying water over the bluff behind the homes to create a wet fire line and to slow down the path of the fire to protect the residents.
Command then requested Jasper Highlands Fire for a Forestry Hand Crew and requested South Pittsburg Fire, Kimball Fire, and Haletown Fire for Tankers to help supply water to the pumpers flowing water over the bluffs. While the crews were flowing water, Tennessee Forestry worked on contaminants with a dozer.
Jasper Highlands Fire team went in with Tennessee Forestry on foot to help create fire lines. Command requested Coffee County Rescue Squad to respond with their rehab unit.
At approximately 9:54 p.m., Tennessee Forestry advised the fire was contained for the night, and all crews were out of the woods. Command announced the dispatch of this traffic and started releasing units to return to stations.
Command, along with Tennessee Forestry, Monteagle Fire, and Sewanee Fire, discussed plans to return the following day for further containment and extinguishment. At approximately 10:45 p.m., all units cleared the scene, and Command was terminated.
On November 6, 2023, at approximately 8:55 am, at the request of Tennessee Forestry, South Pittsburg Mountain Fire, Sewanee Fire, and Monteagle Fire responded to Jackson Point Rd to establish a wet line behind the homes again. Monteagle Fire had their Drone Team also respond for aerial views of the fire.
Command was established and had units back at the homes flowing water over the bluffs to create the wet lines. Jasper Highlands Fire requested an Engine and personnel to assist with this. At approximately 3:13 p.m., the fire was 100% contained. All units cleared the scene and returned to their stations.
This fire was approximately 130 acres in steep, rough, rocky terrain. These conditions made it hard to contain it fast. It took many hours, lots of hard work, and lots of water to contain it.
This call took multiple agencies from five counties (one from out of state) and a state agency to control. All the agencies worked hand in hand as one unit to do this. South Pittsburg Mountain Fire said they were grateful for the assistance and support from all responding agencies and those who offered help. They also thanked the community members who brought water and food to the scene for the firefighters.
Below is a list of agencies that responded and assisted:
South Pittsburg Mountain Fire
Sewanee Fire
Stevenson Fire
Haletown Fire
Jasper Highlands Fire
Monteagle Fire
South Pittsburg Fire
Kimball Fire
Elder Mountain Fire
Marion County EMA
Coffee County Rescue Squad
Tennessee Forestry
Also, a HUGE shout out to the Marion County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center for an excellent job keeping up with everything and helping contact everyone’s command requests.
Photo Credits:
Photos 1 & 2: Arron Sanders (Photos of the fire)
Photo 3: Monteagle Fire Drone Team (Drone operations table)