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The fire, which began last Tuesday, is 95 percent contained, according to fire information officer Warren Bielemberg.

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Firefighters battle stubborn wildfire on steep west side of Lookout Mountain

Authorities are interviewing several people who say they were responsible for the campfire that started a wildfire days ago on the rugged west side of Lookout Mountain.

Several people came forward after seeing a news reports about the fire, said John McCutcheon, acting chief ranger for the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. McCutcheon said earlier that fire officials believed the fire sprang from an illegal campfire set on a bluff inside the boundaries of the military park.

Neither the number of people nor their identities were released Friday.

Some 75 firefighters from the Georgia Forestry Commission, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and West Brow Fire and Rescue spent more than a week battling the flames in a hard-to-reach area below a steep bluff.

The fire burned some 20 acres, but no injuries were reported and nearby homes were not evacuated.

Authorities speculated that whoever set the campfire had either kicked burning logs off the bluff or that the logs had fallen accidentally and started the fire.

Because the fire was burning in a thick layer of trees, leaves and organic matter, it was difficult to extinguish. Helicopters dumped water on the flames throughout the week, and firefighters cleared trails to lay several thousand feet of hose to control small fires set to burn off the underbrush and create a dead zone.

Firefighters also worked to clear underbrush away from several homes close to parkland on the north side of the fire.

By Thursday, National Park officials said the fire was 100 percent contained.

McCutcheon said that the fact that the individuals came forward on their own to take responsibility for the fire might affect their punishment.

Contact staff writer Steve Johnson at 423-757-6673, sjohnson@timesfreepress.com, on Twitter @stevejohnsonTFP, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/noogahealth.

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