SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Pigeon Forge Fire Chief said Monday he hopes to have a large wildfire under control, with crews containing 80% as of Monday evening.
(Monday afternoon update) – The wildfire in the Laurel Lick area of Sevier County is said to be about 75% contained by crews, according to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
No structures are threatened and the fire is affecting around 20 acres.
Crews continue to work to extinguish the fire. The fire chief telling WATE 6 On Your Side’s Blake Stevens that the extinguishing efforts could take a while longer:
Crews entered the third day putting out a brush fire in a remote area of Sevier County.
Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson said Monday 45 firefighters, many from other county agencies, worked to put out the fire.
Watson said crews fought a couple, small, “breakouts” or “hotspots” overnight, and have gotten them contained. The difficulty, although it’s a relatively small area and high winds haven’t been a big factor so far, is the terrain.
“It takes quite a bit of resources to get up that mountain,” Eatson said.
A helicopter of the U.S. Forestry Service returned to the spot, pouring water over top of the flames, collected from Douglas Lake. Each time they dropped water, Watson said they were dropping between 500-700 gallons of it.
In fact, he said the terrain is so steep, many ATVs and UTVs are unable to climb the trails.
“We’re talking about some angles that may be 80 percent up there. We’ve got some trails up there that even ATVs and UTVs can’t climb and they’re having to hand climb it to get up to it. We’re talking about some tough conditions, probably the toughest conditions i’ve ever been in command of on a fire.”
While he hopes to be able to completely contain the fire Monday, he explained in the firefighting, it’s impossible to say for sure.
The worst-case scenario in this type of situation would be high winds or someone getting hurt. Fortunately, Watson hasn’t seen either.
“A good hard rain would make a big difference. Any kind of moisture is going to help us. this humidity being up as high as it is right now, that helps us with fire growth,” he said.
The exact cause hasn’t been determined, Watson believes, because of its remote location, it was caused by a lightning strike, possibly from a couple weeks prior.
If you’re concerned and want to stay connected, he said you text 99411 and receive notifications from their code red system.
(Monday morning update) – Crews fought some hot spots overnight. The U.S. Forest Service helicopter continues to drop water on some areas. 45 firefighters remain on the ground.
(Update as of 8 p.m.): The Laurel Like Brush-fire is now 70% contained.
(Update as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday): Multiple agencies are continuing to work the Laurel Lick Brush-fire located in a remote section of Sevier County.
It is currently a slow-moving, smoldering brush-fire occupying 20-25 acres on a steep mountainside, this all according to a release from the Pigeon Forge and Sevier County government.
No structures are currently at risk, the fire is about 20% contained.
Crews will continue to work to dig containment lines until the fire is contained. Helicopter air drops are being provided by the U.S. Forest Service to reduce the spread of the fire.
To receive notifications, citizens and visitors may register for the CodeRed Alert System by texting SevierAlerts to 99411. The public can also receive updates via social media at www.facebook.com/SevierCoEMA.
Sevier County EMA reporting a brush fire in a remote area near Laurel Lick Road and Mill Creek Road.
First responders from Sevier Co. EMA, Pigeon Forge Fire Department, Sevier Co. Fire, are all in the area working to contain the fire.
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