Saturday, February 24

LIVE: Wildfires in Sevier County update given by officials


What to know about the Hatcher Mountain & Millstone Gap fires

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Efforts to contain two wildfires burning in Sevier County continued overnight into Friday morning, which is when airdrops are expected to resume, according to the Sevier County Emergency Management Agency.

While rain is forecasted for the Smokies Friday, WATE 6 Storm Team meteorologists say the showers will be light (10%) along with lighter breezes. More than 200 fire personnel are working the fires along with helicopters deployed to help shower the area with much-needed water.

A press conference is happening at 11 a.m. at the Ramsey Hotel in Pigeon Forge regarding the Sevier County fires.

Here’s what we know as of Friday morning about both the Hatcher Mountain-Indigo Lane fire, which began mid-morning Wednesday and the Millstone Gap fire, which began sometime after.

Friday morning, the Tennessee Department of Transportation reminded drivers that Wears Valley Road is still closed from Waldens Creek to Valley View. TDOT crews are in the area and assisting in fueling the response vehicles as well as traffic control.

Wears Valley wildfire: Hatcher Mountain-Indigo Lane fire

  • At last update Thursday night, the wildfire in the Wears Valley community was 3,739 acres in size and was 45% contained.
  • The fire has affected more than 100 structures in the area.
  • At least 11,000 homes have been evacuated since the start of the fire.
  • Evacuation orders remain in place for homes within an area designated by Sevier County EMA; an evacuation map has been shared by the agency.
  • No other injuries – apart from two firefighters and one resident – have been reported as of late Thursday.
  • Five fire engines (4 county agency; 1 state agency) were lost during fire response, according to officials during a press conference Thursday morning.
  • One of six UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters deployed by the Tennessee National Guard to help bring more water to the area was forced to make an emergency landing Thursday due to engine failure; the crew was uninjured.
  • Sevier County Schools are closed Friday due to the wildfires.

Sevier/Blount County line: Millstone Gap fire

  • Sevier County officials initially reported a fire off of Millstone Gap Road in Seymour on Thursday.
  • The location of the fire is near the Sevier-Blount County line.
  • As of late Thursday, the Millstone Gap fire had grown to 650 acres in size.

Donations and how to help

Sevier County officials say the Sevier County Fairgrounds will be open to receive donations for Sevier County residents affected by the wildfires beginning Friday. Here’s the schedule for hours of operation:

  • Friday, April 1 2022 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 2, 2022 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 3, 2022 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Starting Monday, Sevier County Fairgrounds will be open to those affected by the wildfires, who are in need of assistance. Sevier County says this is beginning on Monday, April 4, 2022 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They will also be accepting donations during regular operating hours.

Hours of operation

  • Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information about helping those in need who have been affected by the fire, visit www.mountaintough.org

MountainTough.org, a website created to assist victims of the 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires, has been reactivated. Waters said the site will be updated Thursday with more information on how to assist those affected or donate to first responders. Shelters has been set up for evacuees at the Pigeon Forge Community Center, the Sevierville Convention Center, and Seymour Heights Christian Church.

Also Read  Earnings worries also on Dalal Street's mind

This is a developing story. Download the WATE 6 News app to get updates sent to your phone.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *