Cherokee battles brushfire in town

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A brushfire broke out in the Yellowhill community, close to downtown Cherokee around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 17. 

By Monday morning, approximately 75 acres or more were impacted and the fire was reported as 50 percent contained. 

Ruth McCoy, acting superintendant of Bureau of Indian Affairs, said there were structure fires threatened, including homes, but none damaged. The fire allegedly began on Conseen Drive across from Burger King. 

“The casino wasn’t in any danger; you could see it from there, but it was still a half a mile out,” McCoy said. 

Fire crews on the ground, including Bureau of Indian Affairs, Cherokee Fire Department and two other crews, fought back the fire. In addition, the fire was fought by helicopter with water being pulled from Ela Dam. 

“Our crews hit the ground,” McCoy said. “They got everything tied in on the casino side and they protected the homes. We have an awesome crew. All these people are really good, and the Cherokee Fire Department helped also.” 

As of Monday morning, Oconnee Road was closed off. The fire was contained by Tuesday. 

No cause has been identified at this point, McCoy said.

Smoky Mountain Times

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