By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
A brush fire in the mountains just south of the Knox and Bell county line has the Kentucky Division of Forestry on the lookout for an arsonist.
According to District Forester Jared Calvert, the fire started Tuesday. Witnesses could see the fire raging on top of the mountain overlooking Pineville that night, and by daylight Wednesday the valley through Pineville was smoky and acrid.
Witnesses said by Wednesday night the fire had burned halfway down the mountain and could be seen for several miles.
Calvert said an aerial detection plane spotted an unknown suspect on a four-wheeler lighting fires through the woods.
“We’ve got the fire contained,” said Calvert Friday. “It’s not yet controlled but we are wrapping it up.
“We hope to be done with it today.”
Fire crews for the forestry service, with the help of local volunteer fire departments, were able to protect approximately 20 structures during this blaze, which scorched more than 350 acres, according to Calvert. Crews worked through Thanksgiving day Thursday to get the fire under control.
He added that the forestry service continues to investigate this fire, and that anyone with any information is urged to either call the arson hotline number at 1-800-27-ARSON, or call the forestry service at 1-800-866-0504.