December 7, 2016
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 pm. 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 fire did not increase in size yesterday and is estimated to be 17006 acres. Due to more accurate mapping, the Cobbly Nob fire is now estimated to be 819 acres, but there has been no actual growth in the fire size. Containment has increased to 64% on Chimney Tops 2 and is up to 67% on Cobbly Nob. Despite the rain, heat still exists within the fire perimeter. Smoke may be visible within the fire perimeter from time to time, and firefighters will continue to patrol and mop any hot spots that may be a threat to the containment lines or structures.
Chimney Tops 2 fire
Cobbly Nob Fire:
Today property owners, business owners, renters, and lease holders are being allowed to return to full-time occupancy beginning at 7:00 amthrough the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point. A curfew will be in effect from 10:00 pm until 6:00 am both today and Thursday. 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 am. Major roadways are expected to be open, but some city roadways may remain closed to accommodate utility work.
Even though the fire is not 100% contained, the areas opening to the public have been deemed safe. The area will continue to be monitored and patrolled. Firefighters will continue to provide structure protection and will maintain a presence in these areas until the fire is 100% contained.
Though there is little or no active fire evident at this time, everyone should use caution when entering the burned area. Be prepared for other hazards that may be present on your property. These include, but are not limited to: hazards trees, footing, 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 (information above).
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