A couple of weeks ago, many fires were reported in the Smokies, including one in Pigeon Forge. Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina were among those affected areas.
While the vast majority of these fires have already been suppressed or containment has been achieved, the threat of a wildfire remains extremely high due to the dry conditions and rising winds.
Tennessee Wildland Fire officials worked earlier this month to contain a wildfire that had damaged more than 100 structures in the hills around Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Hatcher Mountain Road/Indigo Lane fire has burnt approximately 3,700 acres.
According to Sevier County Emergency Management, evacuations were in effect for the Shagbark resort and Hatcher Mountain, Cove Creek, and Indigo Roads.
Several roads in the region were also restricted to give better access to emergency vehicles. The region home to country music legend Dolly Parton and her Dollywood theme park attractions is on fire.
Parton took to Instagram to express her condolences to anyone affected by the California wildfires. Parton commented, “I’ve been keeping up with everything going on with the fires near my home region.”
“It appears frightening on television, but I’m proud of how everyone in the neighborhood has come together as they always do.”
“I’m extremely proud of the courageous men and women working to extinguish the fire.”
She then requested prayers for everyone harmed by the fire. Parton claims she has been informed that everything surrounding her Dollywood estate is fine. “I know some people who have been touched, and I hope you will join me in praying for them,” she continues.
During this period, I’ve also been in touch with my Dollywood contacts, who have informed me that everything is fine there.”
According to a Dollywood spokesperson, the fire started around 2 p.m. in a heating and air conditioning unit on the top of a closed and unoccupied building on the resort’s premises.
No one was in the proximity of the incident, according to the spokesman, and staff was able to put the blaze under control before the Pigeon Forge Fire Department arrived. The park remained open and operational, according to a spokesman.
The Millstone Gap fire, the second in a rural area along the Blount County/Sevier County border to burn 800 acres, was entirely out of control and appeared to have little chance of being contained. Investigators are now trying to figure out what started the fire.
The Pigeon Forge Community Center operated as a shelter, and the Seymore Heights Christian Church remained open as needed for people in need.
According to tn.gov, there are typically two fire seasons in Tennessee. The spring fire season, which begins in mid-February and ends in mid-May, is when the forest “greens up.”
The fall fire season starts in the middle of October, when the leaves start to fall and lasts until the middle of December.
However, it is important to remember that wildfires can occur at any time of year. Nature can also cause wildfires. However, researchers believe that people are responsible for roughly 85% of wildfires in the United States.