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.

Inferno forces evacuations in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge:

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

Daily Commentary – Thursday, November 12, 2015 – 9/11 is Still Claiming Victims After Fourteen Years

  • One week ago, 51 year old Lt. Marci Simms of Long Island, NY died of lung cancer, 14 years after working at ground zero



Daily Commentary – Thursday, November 12, 2015 Download

Daily Commentary – Monday, September 7, 2015 – Just Got Back From A Trip Thru Montana, Idaho and Washington and Witnessed All the Smoke From the Fires

  • Those emergency personnel that put their lives on the line to battle these fires are the real heros

Daily Commentary – Monday, September 7, 2015 Download

Daily Commentary – Friday, August 14, 2015 – California Fires Burning Up Some Medical Marijuana Farms

  • Cannabis plants that are growing around some of state’s fires, especially the Rocky Fire near Clear Lake are in jeopardy of being destroyed in the fires

Daily Commentary – Friday, August 14, 2015 Download

Happy Birthday … Smokey Bear Turns 70 Years Old, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SMOKEY THE BEAR TURNED 70 ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2014.

Wow, hard to believe that Smokey the Bear turned 70. Smokey the Bear is probably one of the best and enduring PSA’s put out by the government and the US Department of Forestry. Over the decades Smokey the Bear has had makeovers. Personally, I like the 50′s and 60′s Smokey. What is most interesting is that Smokey’s PSA’s were not originally from the Forestry department, but from the “Wartime Ad Council” instead. Smokey’s job was to warn Americans of the danger of forest fires, not those set by Americans,  but by the Japanese. During World War II, Japan launched fire bombing balloons into the jet stream hoping to destroy American natural resources.

Remember … Only You!

 

Happy birthday, Smokey Bear! Forest firefighting symbol turns 70.

The Forest Service unveiled Smokey Bear as a symbol for fire prevention on Aug. 9, 1944. Tidwell said the country averaged about 160,000 wildfires annually in 1944, compared with 60,000 today, a decline he attributes to the Smokey Bear campaign.

Up to 90 percent of U.S. wildfires are caused by humans, according to the National Park Service.

Tidwell said today’s wildfires tend to be larger due to drier, hotter weather. With more people living near forested areas, Smokey’s message is more relevant than ever, he said.

Smokey The Bear Song – 1952

CBS NEWS:

He goes to work in blue jeans and utters only one sentence, but his message is loud and clear – “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

Smokey Bear just turned 70 years old, and his image is getting a reboot, reports CBS News’ Ben Tracy.

“Smokey has had a little work done. His costume has been updated… He’s got a fresh new look,” said Peggy Conlon, president of the Advertising Council, the organization that has overseen Smokey’s iconic image from the beginning.

“Ninety-four percent of Americans recognize Smokey Bear,” she said. “He’s really survived generations. And he’s beloved and everybody remembers his phrase.”

Smokey was created in 1944, one of the first campaigns from the newly created “Wartime Ad Council.” The same folks also coined the phrase, “loose lips sink ships.”

Smokey’s job was to warn Americans of the danger of forest fires — not those set by Americans — but by the Japanese. During World War II, Japan launched fire bombing balloons into the jet stream hoping to destroy American natural resources.

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