SEVIERVILLE, Tennessee – 1000 acre raging Wildfire near Great Smoky Mountains National Park has prompted an emergency evacuation in the nearby areas, reported the news agencies today.
“FIRES FORCE EVACUATIONS: A wildfire in an area of Tennessee near Great Smoky Mountains National Park has prompted mandatory evacuations,” a local news source tweeted.
A resident named Robert Goodhue, described the situation, saying, “it was surreal,” and added, “I could see the smoke coming off of Walden’s Creek back there, and I was like, ‘That’s coming from where I live.’”
On Wednesday at roughly 11:41 in the morning, the state authorities issued a warning to Sevier County residents reporting, a ‘brush fire’ was raging in the vicinity of Hatcher Mountain Road and Indigo Lane.
By the evening, the fire had spread to 1,000 acres and destroyed almost 35 structures, due to which one person got injured.
“Firefighters are working to contain a wildfire that started spreading near Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and left one person injured Wednesday, as authorities instituted evacuations in the area,” USAToday Tweeted.
As per the Knox News reporting, the dry weather in the area, along with high winds, have caused the brush fire to spread. Several helicopters were sent to the location to help extinguish the fire. As of late Wednesday, it was 0% contained.
“Two helicopters gather and drop water on the Wears Valley fire in Sevier County,” Tweeted Emmy Awards winning journalist Amanda Hara.
Areas close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park had been forced shut down on Wednesday due to high winds and wildfire in the region.
“We’re currently putting in lines and doing structure protection,” said Brook Smith, the spokesperson to the Tennessee Division of Forestry. “As the fire breaks those containment lines, we are pulling back and readjusting, and putting in new lines. The wind is making this fire very hard to manage.”
Tennessee authorities have spread ‘evacuation maps’ through the internet and put Red Cross volunteers on standby.
Goodhue said that a trooper on Wednesday told him to ‘turn around’ and stopped him from traveling home after the evacuation order was issued. He then described that he watched the fire from the far and talked to a crying man who’s 34 years old burned down due to the fire, calling the situation “heartbreaking.”
“Things can be replaced, people can’t. I’m just really hoping everybody came off the mountain,” he said. On Wednesday other areas in Tennessee reported fire eruption including, Bradley County and Anderson County. However, it was contained by Thursday morning.