MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — “The Dragon” is currently open after a wildfire Sunday morning, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park released on Wednesday that the 40-acre fire was 100% contained, and that Parson Branch Road was back open. As of Wednesday, the perimeter around the fire was secured and firefighter resources were reduced to one Type 6 Engine Crew that would continue to monitor the area, GSMNP said.
On Tuesday around 5:40 p.m., Tennessee Highway Patrol shared on Twitter that all of U.S. Highway 129 on the Dragon was back open.
Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson Mark Nagi posted to Twitter Sunday that a motorcycle crashed causing a wildfire near “The Dragon,” also known as U.S. Highway 129. The fire spread closing the lanes on the highway.
On Sunday at 11:37 a.m., Blount County contacted the Great Smoky Mountains National Park about a five-acre wildfire west of the park.
National Park Service wildland firefighters responded to the area, which was located about two miles west of the intersection of “The Dragon” and Parson Branch Road exit near Chilhowee Lake. NPS said the fire is near Cattail Branch but is not near any hiking trails.
The fire spread to about 30 acres and is reported to be on NPS lands.
40 wildland firefighters are working to suppress the fire using hand crews, engines and air operations.
Two Type 6 engine crews, a helicopter crew, Cherokee National Forest hotshot crew, and hand crews from the National Park Service (NPS) Appalachian Piedmont Coastal Fire Management Zone module, Blount County and Graham County are currently on site.
THP and Blount County Sheriff’s Office helped with traffic control. According to THP, Highway 129 from the 11 mile marker to the state line in Tennessee/North Carolina is completely shut down.
“Please find an alternative route. We will let you know when the roadway reopens,” Blount County Sheriff’s Office posted to Facebook.
According to the TDOT Smartway Map, the fire is estimated to be cleared by 11 p.m. on Nov. 8. Traffic will be affected for anyone heading north from the state border.
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Editor’s Note: The story will be updated as more information is received.