KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Emergency officials have extended the evacuation zone near the Wears Valley Fire location.
A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the Smoky Ridge Way area off of Wears Valley Road. The Pigeon Forge Community Center is operating as a shelter for those displaced.
There is also a mandatory evacuation for the following locations off of Dripping Springs Road:
- Dykes Road
- West Lewelling
- Reagan Circle
- Lela Way
Around 1:30 a.m. Thursday the Sevier County Emergency Management Agency issued a mandatory evacuation for the Dupont area from South Rogers Road to the Blount-Sevier County line.
Earlier Wednesday evening the area along Wears Valley Road – including areas from Walden’s Creek Road to Wear Farm City Park and about a mile from the Pigeon Forge Parkway – was added.
Sevier County Schools are closed Thursday and Friday out of an “abundance of caution” due to the wildfires affecting parts of the county.
The wildfire has burned more than 3,700 acres in the Wears Valley area of Sevier County, and as of 11:30 a.m., at least 100 structures have been impacted.
The fire started burning on Hatcher Mountain Road at Indigo Lane shortly after 11 a.m. The Sevier County EMA is asking anyone in the Wears Valley or Walden’s Creek areas to evacuate immediately. A street map of locations asked to leave was shared by the EMA.
Evacuations were ordered earlier for Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark, Little Valley Road, Black Bear Resort off of Lost Branch Road, and anyone one-mile radius of Indigo Lane.
For those evacuating, shelters have been established at the Pigeon Forge Community Center, the Sevierville Convention Center, and Seymour Heights Christian Church.
Several roads within Wears Valley, including Wears Valley Road and Hatcher Mountain, are also closed, to find an updated list: click here.
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Fire crews from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, the Wildland Task Force, Knoxville Fire Department and the Tennessee Division of Forestry have responded to the scene. WTVC reported that Bradley County Fire and Rescue as well as the Cleveland Fire Department have sent crews to assist operations in Sevier County.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As more information becomes available, this story will be updated.