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Brush fires burn over 20 acres Tuesday

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Nearby property owners were watering down their backyards and tree lines at the scene. WEMA personnel had to carry hoses up the hill to try and prevent the fire from spreading into the wooded area on either side of the clearing. No injuries were reported as of press time for this story.


A much larger fire had emergency crews responding to Mt. Juliet early Tuesday morning as a blaze scorched almost 20 acres.


According to Jewell, WEMA received a call of a brush fire off Stockbridge Way and Central Pike in Mt. Juliet, around midnight Tuesday. After that fire was extinguished, another call came in around 4:30 a.m., which drew personnel from WEMA Stations 5, 3, 6 and some from Station 1 in Lebanon.


It was about 15 to 20 acres and burnt two barns, no equipment, the barns were fairly empty, Jewell said of the fire.


Jewell indicated the fire that was reported at 4:30 a.m. was most likely an extension of the first that was reported earlier. He said it was likely embers were left burning or possibly traveled by winds to ignite the dry grass a second time.


They were even more cautious with the second fire as crews continued to douse the area with water, bulldoze and rake through the destroyed barns and be sure nothing was left smoldering.


Its just extremely dry and any spark can ignite one of these fires, Jewell said.{phocagallery view=category|categoryid=56|imageid=350|displayname=0|float=right}


With the lack of rainfall and temperatures that expect to reach record highs later this week, Jewell said even things you wouldnt think could start a fire pose a potential risk. He said anything from hot mowing equipment to farm vehicles could start a brush fire.


The Tuesday morning fire burned through fields behind Center Chapel Church of Christ at 9500 Central Pike and alongside the Wright Farms subdivision, but Jewell noted the homes were never in immediate danger.


The fire burnt within about 75 yards of the homes, but they werent in any real danger, Jewell said. The Wilson County Sheriffs Department got everyone up and out of bed, which was appropriate.


He added that no one was evacuated from their homes, but he did advise residents to water their lawns to prevent wind from carrying any embers into the subdivision.


By 11 a.m., crews on the scene had demolished both barns and were watering down debris and fence lines to prevent any future sparks from igniting again.


Were trying to water down areas we may have missed, Jewell said.


The cause of the initial brush fire was unknown with the investigation continuing.


Jewell issued warnings to local residents to be extremely cautious when celebrating the upcoming holiday.


He said to water the grass and surrounding areas when grilling outdoors and to do the same if you plan to shoot fireworks. Keep a supply of water on hand also to extinguish any sparks that may result from using fireworks.


At a time like this, Jewell said you cant be too cautious.


Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.


Check out online reader's poll to the right of this story to weigh in on how the current weather may affect your decision to use fireworks this July 4 holiday.


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