KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture and several agencies are working to contain a wildfire off of Interstate 40 near the welcome center in Cocke County.
The Agriculture Department said Friday that 30 structures are threatened but no evacuations have been ordered. The right lane of I-40 West at Mile Marker 446 near the welcome center is closed, according to a Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson.
Crews remain on standby at the welcome center to protect if needed. Forestry Service helitankers are implementing water drops to cool the fire.
The fire covers approximately 120 acres according to Adrianne Rubiaco, spokesperson for Cherokee National Forest. The structures being threatened are residential and the Division of Forestry is working on putting containment lines behind the structures to protect them.
Helitankers are doing water drops on westbound lanes of I-40 to help with containment as well.
The Division of Forestry is assisting along with local fire departments, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to help manage the fire and traffic. Crews have been on the scene since 1 p.m. Thursday.
The active wildfires page on the state’s website described the fire as 5% contained as of 10:06 a.m. on Friday
This is a developing story.