A Pigeon Forge fire in a popular Tennessee resort area has wiped out a large number of cabins, with nearly 30 local fire departments responding to put out a blaze spanning dozens of acres in the overnight blaze.
So far, the Pigeon Forge fire has destroyed at least 35 cabins in Tennessee, and Sevier County spokesman Perrin Anderson confirmed that, early this morning, two Black Hawk Helicopters of the Tennessee Air National Guard stationed at McGhee Tyson Airport began a 7 am survey of the damaged area. Anderson says the choppers will then “go to Douglas Lake and dip water with those buckets and drop it on the fire.”
The Pigeon Forge fire resulted in about 150 voluntary evacuations of the area, and no injuries so far reported. The blaze was spotted after 4 pm on Monday, and local news sources say the fire was first observed “off Lost Branch Road in the Black Bear Ridge Resort area between Wears Valley and Pigeon Forge.”
Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson said early Monday: “You gotta understand, it jumped across a road, several roads, and now it’s racing up a hill … Luckily, the humidity, the temperatures dropped. We’re still not under control, but if it was earlier in the day, we’d still be in worse shape.”
As of this morning, the Pigeon Forge fire has consumed 200 acres in the area, and Nathan Waters, a spokesman with the Tennessee Division of Forestry, told press last night that more cabins were at risk as firefighters struggled to contain the flame before they damaged the closely-clustered structures.
Waters explained that there are “hundreds of cabins and rentals up [there],” adding that the Pigeon Forge rentals are “so close together they are going up like dominoes … one after the other.”
The American Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at the Pigeon Forge Community Center for residents displaced by the Pigeon Forge fire, and at least two families have sought help in the wake of the blaze.