December 6, 2016
Chimney Tops 2
Start Date: Nov 23 Size: 17,006 Containment: 58%
Incident Summary: The Chimney Tops 2 Fire was reported in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, TN on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at approximately 5:20 p.m. The wildfire began burning in a remote location (Chimney Tops) of the park in steep terrain with vertical cliffs and narrow rocky ridges making access to the wildfire area difficult for firefighting efforts. On Monday, November 28th, the exceptional drought conditions and extreme winds caused the wildfire to grow rapidly, causing numerous new wildfire starts from embers carried miles away and downed powerlines in and adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The wildfire was determined to be human-caused and is currently under investigation.
Chimney Tops 2 and Cobbly Nob Fires' acreage did not increase again yesterday, due to continued rain. This means there was no fire spread. Containment has increased to 58% and remained at 53% on Chimney Tops 2 & Cobbly Nob, respectively. Despite the rain, heat still exists within the fire perimeter. There was some smoke behind Westgate Resort that was investigated and was found to be logs smoldering.
On Wednesday, December 7, property owners, business owners, renters, and lease holders will be allowed to return to full-time occupancy beginning at 7:00 a.m. through the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point. The curfew will then be in effect from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday. Please use caution when entering the burned area.
The City of Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business and to the general public on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 a.m. Major roadways are expected to be open, but some city roadways may remain closed to accommodate utility work.
Even though the fire hasn't been contained at 100%, the areas opening to the public have been deemed safe from further fire spread. The area will continue to be monitored and patrolled by firefighters. Firefighters will maintain a presence in these areas until fire is 100% contained.
Even though there has been no fire spread please use caution when entering the burned area. You should be prepared for other hazards that may be present on your property. These include, but are not limited to: hazards trees, footing, smoking stumps, ash pits, parking, collapse of structural material, and utilities. We will continue to mop up and patrol and provide for public and firefighter safety. For detailed information on safely returning to your property, please follow us on our Facebook, website, or call us at the number above.
To date, there are 14 confirmed fatalities. Over 145 people sustained injuries, and 1753 structures have been damaged or destroyed.
Start Date: Nov 28 Size: 803 Containment: 53%
Incident Resources: 24 crews, 45 engines, 4 helicopters, 2 dozers, 1 air attack, 719 total personnel
Weather: Low pressure continues moving toward the fire area and will cross the area today. This will bring more rain to the area with showers ending late today. High temperatures will be in the middle to upper 50s with minimum relative humidity around 80%. Winds will be southwesterly at 8-12 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.
Road and Trail Closure Status: The National Park is closed from the Gatlinburg Entrance to Smokemont near Oconaluftee (US 441, Newfound Gap) and Little River Road from Sugarlands Visitor Center to Townsend. The Gatlinburg ByPass and Cliff Branch are also closed. There will be no access to Wiley Oakley or Westgate from the Spur.
The Spur between Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg is open from Pigeon Forge to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. To access this area, it is important to follow check point protocols. There is only one check point access at East Parkway (Hwy. 321) at Glades Road and the Post Office. Be sure to bring valid forms of identification showing name and address of residence or business inside Gatlinburg. Officials will verify renters and lease holders, as needed.
Closed Trails: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Cove Mountain Trail, Gatlinburg Trail, Huskey Gap Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail, Rough Creek Trail, Little River Trail, Cucumber Gap Trail, Jakes Creek Trail, Miry Ridge Trail, Goshen Prong Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, Twin Creeks Trail, Bullhead Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Alum Cave Trail, Brushy Mountain Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, Baskins Creek Trail, Porters Creek Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail
Closed Campsites: 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32
Closed Shelters: Mt. Le Conte shelter
Note: Mt Collins Shelter, which is along the Appalachian Trail and is outside the area of concern for the fire, has been re-opened.
Be vigilante while driving; emergency vehicles and personnel may be working in areas open to the public.
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