Pigeon Forge, TN – A raging fire within a popular tourist city has stretched across 200 acres over the weekend, decimating property at the Black Bear Ridge Resort. East Tennessee crews are still fighting to tame the blaze.
A wildfire has destroyed over 30 cabins at the Black Bear Ridge Resort and turned propane tanks into bombs. A local CBS station reports that all of the cabins have been evacuated, removing around 150 people from harm. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported.
“There’s hundreds of cabins and rentals up here,” Nathan Waters, a spokesman with the Tennessee Division of Forestry, told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “They are so close together they are going up like dominoes. Just one after the other.”
The paper reports that firefighters first responded to a call that arrived at 4:18 pm. Nearly two dozen firefighting agencies have since joined the effort to tame the wildfire that has spread enough to threaten the local Tennessee community.
A handful of families have contacted the American Red Cross for help. Clothes, electronics, photos, and mementos have all been consumed by the fire. An emergency shelter has been opened at the Pigeon Forge Community Center for those affected by the fire.
Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort city with a population of just under 6,000 people. The city is located not far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is home to Dollywood, a theme park co-owned by Dolly Parton since 1986.
CNN reports that the blaze started as a house fire. The fire eventually peaked at 300 acres large. While it has since shrunk, the fire has jumped across several roads and is racing up a hill.
The Weather Channel reports a 100 percent chance of rain in Pigeon Forge later today. Crews expected rainfall yesterday but were ultimately disappointed. The Tennessee National Guard has since joined the local community in monitoring the wildfire.