Authorities determine cause of wildfires in Sevier County

Posted at 4:31 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 17:31:44-04

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — After its investigation, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture crime unit discovered downed power lines laid at the origin of setting two wildfires in Sevier County in March.

“Based on the results of our origin and cause investigation, it was determined the two large wildland fires were caused by downed power lines,” ACU Captain Greg Whitehead said. “The high winds that took down the power lines to spark the fires also fueled the progression of the fires.”

The Indigo Lane fire started March 30 burned nearly 2,500 acres, destroying numerous structures. Firefighting efforts fully contained the Indigo Lane fire by April 5. The Seymour fire started on March 31 and was 100 percent contained a week later. Fire crews from Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee joined the efforts to contain both fires.

The state's agriculture crime unit acts as the primary agency responsible for the investigation of suspected wildland arson statewide and officers are specifically trained to investigate wildfires.

Throughout the investigation, the unit worked with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office and the Pigeon Forge Police Department to determine the source of both fires.