Wild Fires Burn in Sevier County, Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Near Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, TN
Wild fires burn in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate Pigeon Forge, TN and it is being reported that there are currently 30 structures on fire in Gatlinburg as residents and guests evacuate the city. Some schools systems will be closed Tuesday, including Greene, McMinn and Sevier county schools. Cocke County schools run two hours late. Thankfully on Monday there was heavy pouring rain in the area. Gatlinburg fire officials said winds reached up to 80 mph with winds sustained at 30-40 mph about 10-12 hours. The winds coupled with the 500-acre wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
A Sevier County fire has destroyed 75-100 homes Cobbly Nob area of Gatlinburg.
There are no reports of fatalities or major injuries as of 7:30 a.m. Monday.
About 1,300 people are in shelters throughout Sevier County.
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park have closed all facilities in the park on Tuesday due to extensive fire activity and downed trees. GSMNP headquarters do not have power or phone services.
5 a.m. Tuesday UPDATE: Authorities rescued 29 backcountry hikers from wildfires in Sevier County, according to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash.
Cash said there were not any major injuries or fatalities as of 5 a.m. Tuesday. There is one report of an evacuee suffering a burn injury.
“I’ve been in federal service for 25 years, and I’ve fought fires on the West Coast and the East Coast and been with the Forest Service as well,” Cash said. “Nothing that we’ve experienced in the 24 hours has prepared for what we’ve experienced here in the last 24 hours. (It’s) been just unbelievable what we’ve experienced here.”
Cash called the wildfires “unprecedented.”
Cash said Gatlinburg fire officials said winds reached up to 80 mph. Winds sustained at 30-40 mph about 10-12 hours. The winds coupled with the 500-acre wildfire in Gatlinburg, according to Cash.
Amazing Video, you can feel the heat
UPDATE I: The Great Smoky Mountains burn.
The Great Smoky Mountains burn: Terrified guests are TRAPPED inside a burning Hilton hotel as huge wildfire engulfs Tennessee resort and threatens Dollywood, while thousands evacuate and escaping cars burst into flames driving through fire
- Dollywood has been evacuated and tourists are fleeing the area as wildfires rip through Eastern Tennessee
- Gatlinburg Fire Department ordered the mandatory evacuation of the town as high winds fanned the fire
- Terrifying video shot from the Gatlinburg Park Vista Hilton Hotel shows flames just outside the windows
- Witnesses report that dozens of people are still trapped inside the hotel which is surrounded by flames
- Hotel guest Logan Baker said that the 16-story building began filling with smoke as fire came up
- Firefighters have told them to stay put ‘as it’s just too dangerous to evacuate’ due to 80mph winds
- At least 30 buildings have been set ablaze by the wildfire which also came near the edge of Dollywood
- Residents also report cars bursting into flames on the road, and cabins exploding as they catch alight
- Voluntary evacuations began Monday afternoon but by 6pm, a mandatory order had been issued