KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Tuesday, nearly a week into fighting two major wildfires in the Smokies that impacted 219 structures and caused the evacuation of 11,000 homes, the Tennessee Division of Forestry updated its numbers reflecting the Hatcher Mountain/Indigo Lane wildfire in the Wears Valley community was 100% contained.
The other wildland fire, dubbed Millstone Gap or Dupont fire that was burning near Seymour and the Blount County line, was 90% contained and covered 959 acres.
The TDF website updated its numbers shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The TDF and partnering fire agencies had made good headway on the two fires since Monday; when they had reported the Hatcher Mountain/Indigo Lane fire was 98% contained and the Millstone Gap/Dupont fire in Seymour was 75% contained. The Millstone Gap fire grew from Monday to Tuesday to around 959 acres, but TDF officials said that was a planned wildfire spread.
Area Forester Brook Smith, who helps to oversee Anderson, Knox and Sevier counties as part of the East Tennessee District of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s TDF, said on Tuesday the Millstone Gap fire’s growth was planned in order to eliminate “areas of unburned fuel.”
Smith also said the rain that had begun to fall in the area is helping in their fire containment efforts.
According to the WATE 6 Storm Team, rain chances were going up Tuesday especially by the late morning into the early afternoon as rain and showers return to the forecast. Overall, the severe weather risk looks low Tuesday as the risk stays to the south, but rain may be locally heavy at times Tuesday will be breezy at times with slightly cooler temperatures in the middle 60s.
Further containment efforts are continuing in the Sevier County areas of Wears Valley and Dupont. Cleanup efforts are in the preliminary stages as damage assessments began Friday afternoon for structures affected in the Hatcher Mountain/Indigo Lane fire. By Sunday night, local and state fire crews that had assisted in fighting the wildfires were reportedly returning to their home districts.
Over in Campbell County, the East Douglas Lane fire in Jellico was also reported to be 100% contained and burned around 472 acres.