Wildfire burns outside Great Smoky Mountains

Wildfire burns outside Great Smoky Mountains

Credit: The Associated Press

Burning cabins can be seen from Wears Valley Road in Sevier County, Tenn. Sunday March 17, 2013. The first call came in at 4:15 p.m. and by 8:00 p.m. the air one helicopter reported 32 cabins burned and 40 more in danger. Fire crews from around the county and surrounding counties are trying to get a containment on the fire but, highs keep changing and evacuations of surrounding areas continues.

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by WBIR.com

WCNC.com

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 2:04 AM

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (AP) -- Officials said a massive fire at Black Bear Ridge Resort and Trappers Ridge destroyed or damaged 65 structures and 160 acres.

Pigeon Forge Fire Department called the fire contained, but not controlled. Crews reduced the blaze to half it's size Monday morning.

The fire sparked at around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday and at one time burned across 135 acres. Firefighters from 25 fire companies battled the blaze overnight to prevent it from spreading to other areas.

Crews built lines all around the area, but they're still very concerned that heavy winds could push the fire towards Pigeon Forge.

The Tennessee Army National Guard lent their Black Hawk helicopters to airlift water from Douglas Lake to douse the flames.

Shortly before noon, the Knoxville Fire Department sent one 1,500 gallon tanker, one brush truck, and four firefighters.

The Pigeon Forge Fire Chief, Tony Watson, said crews evacuated the area on Sunday and there are no injuries at this time.

"Everybody that I know of has not been injured," confirmed Watson. "This is by the luck of God and prayer that we've not been able to get that," he continued.

Crews led several vacationing families out of harm's way including Diane Conneeli and her family.

"We thank God we're alive and everyone is safe and our possessions can be replaced," said Conneeli. "And again we had a great week here and great people down here. Hopefully, we'll be back."

Kingwood Inn in Gatlinburg has opened its doors to assist people displaced by the fire. The American Red Cross Shelter closed at about 1:30 a.m. Monday because it was not being used.
 


 

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