Bluff City farm taking extra precautions to protect corn mazes and visitors during drought

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BLUFF CITY, Tenn (WJHL)- As we begin the second week of Fall many are making their way to pumpkin patches and corn mazes, but farmers are taking extra steps to keep their properties and visitors safe.

The entire Tri-Cities region is in need of more rain with anywhere from one and three inches below average depending on the area.

This September is one of the driest on record.

According to Storm Team 11’s Drought Monitor, cities like Johnson City and Erwin are in moderate drought conditions.

Areas north, like Bluff City where Stickley Farm is located, are not as dry but are still being impacted by the drought.

Stickley Farm in Bluff City is now open for business for the season and many are enjoying the activities the farm has to offer.

Ben Gebhardt came with a group of friends who like to compete on who can navigate through the corn maze the quickest.

“We like to have friendly competitions. Not really for a prize or anything but just to have fun. I’m not really the best at manoeuvring around because I always forget where I am,” said Ben.

Farm employees are taking extra time to inspect the maze before people even arrive to the farm, setting strict rules on entering the maze, and have emergency gear on hand.

“This time of year we get really excited. We have our corn maze open. Most of it is dry. It’s been planted throughout the summer. We have been very fortunate here and we haven’t really run into any issues, but we still want to make sure we’re taking every precaution we can just in case something was to arise later on. We go through the corn every morning just to make sure nothing’s at risk for catching on fire if something accidental was to happen. No smoking at all. We don’t allow that anywhere in the corn. If somebody is caught smoking we do ask them to come out of the corn. We’ll do things like keep fire extinguishers on hand. We like to joke around and say we have the longest hose in four counties just in case something was to happen in there,” said Stickley Farm Employee Jeff Lucas.

Lucas says this is all just to stay safe so that people like Ben and his friends can continue to have their Fall fun.

For Storm Team 11’s Interactive Radar click here.

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