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Hatcher Mountain Wildfire 100% contained, number of structures lowered due to duplicate counts

The blaze prompted evacuations and closings.
Responders fight Sevier County fire overnight
Responders fight Sevier County fire overnight(WVLT)
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 11:47 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2022 at 4:31 PM EDT
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SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - Responders from several East Tennessee agencies are on the scene of a major wildfire in Sevier County. Follow here for live updates on what officials are calling the Hatcher Mountain Road/Indigo Lane Fire.

Those in the area can check this map to see if they need to evacuate. Officials have set up the Sevier County Emergency Response website where road closures, evacuation notices, shelters, donation sites and maps can be found.

Tuesday, April 5

Live Update (4:16 p.m.):

WVLT News spoke with the Sevier County Assistant for Governmental Affairs Perrin Anderson said the number of affected structures was higher because of duplicate counts.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 2,498 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 100%
  • Evacuations: None
  • Affected Structures: 219

Sunday, April 3

Live Update (2:32 p.m.):

WVLT News spoke with the Sevier County Assistant for Governmental Affairs Perrin Anderson confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the Hatcher Mountain Wildfire was 100% contained.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 2,498 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 100%
  • Evacuations: None

Sunday, April 3

Live Update (2:40 p.m.):

As of Sunday afternoon, the Hatcher Mountain Fire is 98% contained and all affected areas are now open. Anyone in the affected area should use caution as emergency crews continue to work.

Officials updated yesterday’s estimate of 2,675 acres burned to 2,498 acres. A no-fly restriction remains for the public for Wears Valley and Chilhowee Mountain through April 7, according to a release.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 2,498 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 98%
  • Evacuations: None

Saturday, April 2

Live Update (4:59 p.m.):

Hatcher Mountain Fire Update

Sevier County officials give the latest information in the fight against the Hatcher Mountain Fire. https://bit.ly/3u1KXel

Posted by WVLT on Saturday, April 2, 2022

Sevier County officials gave an official update on the wildfire fight in Sevier County Saturday afternoon.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters opened the conference by thanking the first responders that flocked to the area to help fight the fires that began Wednesday morning. He also contrasted this week’s event to the Gatlinburg fires of 2016, saying that officials and residents had learned valuable lessons on how to react to fires.

Tennessee Forestry representative Bruce Miller gave a fire update, saying the Hatcher Mountain Fire is 95% contained. “We are confident we have this fire in good check,” he said. He also said he believed that his department would be able to turn over control of the Hatcher Mountain fire to local responders in the next 24-48 hours.

Mayor Waters confirmed that there had still been no fatalities in the week, and the only person seriously injured had been released from the University of Tennessee Medical Center. “We can replace buildings and vehicles, but lives you cannot,” he said.

Seymour’s shelter was closed, Mayor Waters said. Red Cross officials confirmed the Pigeon Forge Community Center shelter will close at 2 p.m. Sunday. Crews are continuing to make areas affected by the fire safe enough that people can return to their homes, he said.

Mayor Waters also thanked the community for the outpouring of support, saying people and residents had donated many items including food, water and new clothes. “We appreciate that and are thankful for the donations,” he said. The Mountain Tough website was restarted following the fires, which is where those wanted to donate can find more information.

When asked about what the fight has been like on the scene, Mayor Waters said he appreciated the professionalism and organization of responders from the beginning, 11 a.m. Wednesday. “It’s made a difference in lives saved, it’s made a difference in property saved,” he said.

Sevier County Fire Chief David Puckett said he was grateful for every responder’s response and hard work.

Responders also spoke on coordination during the fight, saying they paired out-of-town responders with local ones that could provide directions when needed. “It makes you proud to be a part of this community, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson said.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 2,675 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 95%
  • Evacuations: None

Live Update (11:12 a.m.):

As of Saturday morning, the Hatcher Mountain Wildfire had affected more than 300 structures and remained at 85% containment, according to a release by officials. While Wears Valley Road has reopened, several roads remain closed due to hotspots and for first responders to continue work. They will reopen once it is safe to do so.

The Knoxville Fire Department posted to Twitter saying that Saturday looked to be its last day in Sevier County supporting operations.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 2,675 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 643 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 85%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 25%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (9:05 a.m.):

Knox County Rescue crews were headed to Sevier County Saturday morning to assist in several capacities, including working in the EOC & an Incident Command Sub-Section, performing field damage assessment and search. Its UTV was been requested, officials posted.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 2,675 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 575 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 85%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 25%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Friday, April 1

Live Update (5:47 p.m.):

Officials originally predicted the affected acreage was 3,700 but they updated it to 2,675 burned acres, according to Assistant Sevier County Mayor for Governmental Affairs Perrin Anderson. Roads continue to remain closed and he suggested using Little Cove Road to access Wears Valley Road.

“At least one structure in Blount County has been affected,” Anderson said regarding the Millstone Gap Fire.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 2,675 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 575 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 85%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 25%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (4:56 p.m.):

WVLT News spoke to Assistant Sevier County Mayor for Governmental Affairs Perrin Anderson, who confirmed that the Hatcher Mountain Wildfire is now 80% contained.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 3,739 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 800 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 80%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (4:08 p.m.):

Sevier County officials updated the evacuation map, linked above, to highlight the most up-to-date evacuation orders Friday afternoon. WVLT News spoke with Sevier Co. officials, who confirmed the fire was still 45% contained as of 4:08 p.m. Friday.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 3,739 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 800 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 45%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (1:49 p.m.):

Officials with the Knoxville Fire Department confirmed that they would remain in Sevier County throughout the night, and likely into Saturday as well Friday afternoon.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 3,739 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 800 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 45%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (12:42 p.m.):

WVLT News received two videos of firefighters battling the Hatcher Mountain Fire Friday afternoon. One video shows firefighters escaping as flames jump at them, propelled by high winds.

Firefighters escape Sevier Co. flames propelled by high winds

The second video shows fire crews working to save cabins in Sevier County as flames creep closer.

Firefighters save cabins in Sevier County as flames creep close
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 3,739 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 800 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 45%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (11:28 a.m.):

Live: Update On Sevier County Fires

Officials give latest update on Hatcher Mountain Wildfire. https://bit.ly/3tV1vVs

Posted by WVLT on Friday, April 1, 2022

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters opened the conference by confirming that there had been no fatalities as of Friday. He also said that teams would begin damage assessment Friday, estimating that they would have more information on damages Friday afternoon. Along with those updates should come a more accurate number of structures affected.

Mayor Waters also gave an update on road closures, saying officials would only reopen roads if they were safe. He said teams were out evaluating which roads could be reopened. He clarified that officials tried to reopen Wears Valley Road Thursday, but had to close it again due to hotspots.

The Pigeon Forge Community Center and Seymour Heights Christian Church are still functioning as shelters, Mayor Waters said, providing places to stay and food for those in need. He also confirmed that less than 10 people stayed the night Thursday at the Pigeon Forge Community Shelter. He also asked that anyone wanted to donate supplies do so through mountaintough.org.

Bruce Miller with Tennessee Forestry also gave an update. “We are predominately making efforts on the western line of the [Hatcher Mountain] fire,” he said. Miller confirmed that his crews were in the “mop up” phase, primarily checking hotspots that could restart parts of the fire. That doesn’t mean people can go home just yet, he said, but rather that he would soon give control of the situation back to county officials.

“What we do is we evaluate active fires, hotspots,” Miller said. “The fire in Indigo is looking very good.”

“I’d just like to say I appreciate the outpouring of support,” said the Sevier County Fire Administrator David Puckett.

Waters also gave an update on the Millstone Gap Fire, another fire in the Sevier County area. He said the fire had grown to 800 acres and was 0% contained, but also said the fire had not affected any structures. “Fortunately the weather is not what it was the other night,” he said, referring to Wednesday’s wind gusts.

The Millstone Gap Fire, on the other hand, is in a more rural area than the Hatchers Mountain Fire, Miller said. This means the fire is more unaccusable. Priorities are shifting now, Miller said, from the Hatcher Mountain Fire to the Millstone Gap Fire.

Waters also said TBI and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking into what caused the fire. There is no indication that there is any criminal aspect to the fire, Waters said.

Mayor Waters also said he would provide media with updates later in the afternoon, which WVLT will relay through the WVLT News App live.

  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Size: 3,739 acres
  • Millstone Gap Fire Size: 800 acres
  • Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Containment: 45%
  • Millstone Gap Fire Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (8:29 a.m.):

Sevier County officials have officially restarted the Mountain Tough program. Mountain Tough is a program for those that wish to help the citizens, businesses and visitors to Sevier County.

The website (mountaintough.org) manages information and donations.

TDOT official Mark Nagi also announced Friday morning that his crews are assisting with fueling first response vehicles in Sevier County. At this time, Wears Valley Road is still closed.

  • Size: 3,739 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 45%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way

Thursday, March 31

Live Update (8:51 p.m.):

The Hatcher Mountain Road Fire grew over the course of Thursday, but authorities also announced an increase in the containment of the fire.

  • Size: 3,739 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 45%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.
Firefighters from across East Tennessee are on the scene of a major wildfire in Sevier County as it continues to grow.

Live Update (8:41 p.m.):

The Millstone Gap Fire grew to 650 acres as crews continue to fight both fires. Officials said that airdrops will continue Friday morning.

Live Update (6:24 p.m.):

Officials added more addresses to the mandatory evacuation order for the Hatcher Mountain Fire. The order now includes Dripping Springs Road; Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle, and Lela Way.

  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 30%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way, Dykes Road, West Lewelling, Reagan Circle and Lela Way.

Live Update (4:44 p.m.):

Sevier County officials gave a major update just before 5 p.m. Thursday. According to the update, the fire has been 30% contained as responders drop water from helicopters.

Those interested in helping can go to this website to arrange donations. The Sevier County Fairgrounds will open Friday to receive donations as well. A schedule can be found below.

Crews are also working a fire off Millstone Gap Road in Seymour, near the Blount County/Sevier County line, officials said.

  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 30%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way

Live Update (4:44 p.m.):

Perrin Anderson with Sevier County announced a mandatory evacuation for the Smoky Ridge Way area off of Wears Valley Road due to increased fire conditions Thursday afternoon. Residents can evacuate to the Pigeon Forge Community Center if needed.

  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 5%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community, Smoky Ridge Way

BREAKING: A mandatory evacuation was issued for the Smoky Ridge Way area off of Wears Valley Road due to increased fire conditions. More: https://bit.ly/38btpE5

Posted by WVLT on Thursday, March 31, 2022

Live Update (4:35 p.m.):

Sevier County Emergency Management Agency shared the following roads are closed to the public at this time:

  • HWY 321 from Waldens Creek to Valley View
  • Hatcher Mountain
  • Happy Hollow @ S. Clear Fork
  • Little Valley @ Waldens Creek
  • S. Helton @ Waldens Creek
  • N. Clearfork @ Shagbark
  • Cove Creek Way @ Wears Valley Rd.
  • Hidden Hollow Way @ Wears Valley Rd.

Sevier County Schools officials announced Thursday afternoon that school would be cancelled Friday, April 1 due to the ongoing effects of the Hatcher Mountain Fire. “As spring break runs through next week, this means that students should return to schools on Monday, April 11. We hope that everyone has a good spring break,” officials said.

  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 5%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community

Live Update (3:14 p.m.):

Wears Valley Road and Walden’s Creek Road reopened according to officials with the Sevier County Emergency Management Agency.

Officials said they would be releasing a revised fire evacuation area.

Hatcher Mountain Wildfire Update

What you need to know as crews continue to fight a wildfire in Sevier Co. More: https://bit.ly/3IQcELz

Posted by WVLT on Thursday, March 31, 2022
  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 5%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community

Live Update (12:48 p.m.):

Sevier County EMA officials also released a phone number for people to call with questions or information about areas affected by the Hatcher Mountain Road/Indigo Lane Fire Thursday afternoon. They asked people to call 911 only for emergencies.

The information number is 865-774-3899.

Sevier County wildfire at night
Sevier County wildfire at night(TEMA)
  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 5%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community

Live Update (12:31 p.m.):

Tennessee National Guard officials confirmed to WVLT News that a helicopter they sent to assist with the fire suffered engine failure and had to make an emergency landing around 11:25 a.m. All four crewmembers were unharmed in the landing, and the helicopter reportedly only suffered minor damage. The crew landed the helicopter in a soccer field near Line Springs Road, officials said.

Helicopter forced to land while helping fight Sevier County fire
Helicopter forced to land while helping fight Sevier County fire(WVLT)
Tennessee National Guard members were sent to help with the Sevier County fire

Live Update (11:38 a.m.):

Sevier County EMA officials took to Twitter late Thursday morning to give an update on damage assessment and donation plans. Officials said they plan on beginning assessments for damaged areas following the fire, and asked that people do not call 911 for damage reports.

EMA personnel also asked that people do not drop off donations at this time. They said they are working on creating a list of donation drop-off points, but until those are released asked people to not donate.

  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 5%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community

Live Update (10:42 a.m.):

Tennessee National Guard officials told WVLT News that they have provided six UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to support responders in Sevier County Thursday morning.

Two helicopters left McGhee Tyson Air National Base with Bambi Buckets around 8 a.m., Director of Joint Public Affairs Darrin Haas said. The buckets allow helicopters to transport hundreds of gallons of water from local sources to the site of the fire where needed. The buckets suspend from the helicopter and contain valves on the bottom the crew can use to dispense water.

Two more squads of two helicopters were scheduled to leave the base at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Haas said.

  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 5%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community
A helicopter dropping water on the wildfire in Sevier County

Live Update (10:32 a.m.):

Hatcher Mountain / Indigo Wildfire Update

Live: Officials give an update on Wears Valley wildfire. https://bit.ly/3NyWklV

Posted by WVLT on Thursday, March 31, 2022

Responders held a press conference Thursday morning with an update on the ongoing firefight in Sevier County.

County Mayor Larry Waters opened the conference by confirming that there had been no fatalities or missing persons overnight. Waters said that responders began the fight with the fire as soon as it began, around 11 a.m. Wednesday. He said that after a night of fighting, responders had gotten the fire 5% contained.

The fire also grew to around 3,700 acres, affecting over 100 structures and even five fire agency vehicles, Waters said. “I know folks want to go home,” he said “We are going to work as fast and diligently as we can so folks can go home and check on property.”

In a message to homeowners, Waters said “we are working as hard as we can. We know they are anxious, we are trying to get everything under control as quick as they can.”

Fire officials also said that lessons learned in the 2016 Gatlinburg fires helped authorities respond to this week’s fire. Mayor Waters said he found that more people took the evacuation warnings seriously than in 2016, which helped responders fight the fire and keep people out of danger. “Everybody took it very seriously because of what happened,” he said. Officials estimated that about 11,000 homes were evacuated over the course of the day.

Waters also said that two firefighters suffered minor injures and were treated at the scene. Responders said that one crew of firefighters had to abandon their vehicles and move back into already-burned areas as the fire approached Wednesday night. The vehicles were then lost to the fire, officials said.

Waters did have some good news, saying he thinks that the worst of the danger is over. Responders said the “concern is a lot lower today than yesterday,” saying the weather is better for fighting it. Forestry officials said they expect firefighters to be able to increase containment since weather forecasts are not calling for the high wind conditions the area saw Wednesday.

All in all, Mayor Waters said, 70 local and federal agencies consisting of around 200 people responded to the fire.

  • Size: 3,700 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 5%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community

Live Update (9:42 a.m.):

  • Size: 1,000 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community
TDOT officials drive as the Sevier County wildfire nears US 321 Wednesday night
Sevier County wildfire grows to 1,000 acres
Sevier County wildfire grows to 1,000 acres(Derrick Gordon)

Live Update (8:27 a.m.):

Forestry officials announced early Thursday morning that responders would be holding a press conference around 10 a.m. That event will be streamed live here and on the WVLT Facebook page.

  • Size: 1,000 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Sky Harbor Community

Live Update (3:30 a.m.):

  • Size: 1,000 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Ownby Hills, Hidden Hills, Sky Harbor Community

List of shelters and evacuation centers:

  • Sevierville Convention Center, 202 Gists Creek Road in Sevierville, is now open as an evacuation shelter for persons displaced by the Hatcher Mountain Road/Indigo Lane Fire.
  • Seymour Heights Christian Church, located at 122 Boyd’s Creek Highway, is opening its doors to anyone displaced by the fire.
  • Pigeon Forge Community Center located at 170 Community Center Drive is available as an evacuation center for persons displaced by the Hatcher Mountain Road/Indigo Lane Fire.
  • The King’s Academy at 202 Smothers Road, Seymour, TN, is open as a shelter for those evacuating.
  • Seymour Heights Christian Church at 122 Boyd’s Creek Highway is open as a shelter for persons displaced by the Hatcher Mountain Road/ Indigo Lane Fire.
Multiple communities under evacuation orders as wildfires grow and new ones spark overnight

Live Update (1:30 a.m.):

A mandatory evacuation was issued for the Dupont Area from South Rogers Road to the Blount County/Sevier County line and Ownby Hills and Hidden Hills neighborhoods in the city of Gatlinburg. Residents can go to the Gatlinburg Convention Center or Pigeon Forge Community Center.

  • Size: 1,000 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek, Dupont Area to Blount Co. line, Ownby Hills, Hidden Hills, Sky Harbor Community

Wednesday, March 30

Live Update (10:00 p.m.):

Sevier County EMA officials released an interactive map for those in the area. Residents can use it to search their address to find out if they need to evacuate.

Officials with the Rural Metro Fire Department announced they deployed one engine and one chief officer to Sevier County to assist their incident management team.

“Please pray for those personnel and ALL the personnel working hard to extinguish this wildfire,” officials said.

  • Size: 1,000 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek
Sevier County Fire
Sevier County Fire(THP)

Live Update (8:56 p.m.):

Responders have confirmed to WVLT News that the wildfire in Sevier County has grown to 1,000 acres and affected 35 structures.

  • Size: 1,000 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek

Live Update (8:16 p.m.):

Knoxville Fire Department officials told WVLT News just after 8 p.m. that they deployed four units to Wears Valley to assist in fighting the fires, according to Knoxville Police Department Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks.

Knoxville Fire Department officials told WVLT News just after 8 p.m. that they deployed four...
Knoxville Fire Department officials told WVLT News just after 8 p.m. that they deployed four units to Wears Valley to assist in fighting the fires, according to Knoxville Police Department Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks.(KFD)

WVLT News also spoke with Brook Smith, a forester at the scene, who said as nightfall nears the situation may improve some. “Nighttime, we can usually get a good handle on containing the fire, putting it in a place to where we can bump crews out for the evening so they can get sleep,” Smith said. “They can some back in the morning and the fire hasn’t moved.”

On the other hand, high winds also concerned responders, Smith said. “By and large nighttime fires calm down and don’t move much, but tonight we are going to have winds that will be a concern.”

  • Size: 250 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek
Sevier County evacuation map
Sevier County evacuation map(SC EMA)

Live Update (7:21 p.m.):

Authorities issued an evacuation for the greater Wears Valley and Walden’s Creek areas just after 7 p.m.

  • Size: 250 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort, Wears Valley, Walden’s Creek

Live Update (7:13 p.m.):

Sevier County Schools officials announced schools would not be open on Thursday, March 31 just after 7 p.m.

  • Size: 250 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Mandatory Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort

Live Update (6:08 p.m.):

Sevier County authorities told WVLT News that the fire had affected at least 20 structures, like buildings, and one civilian was injured. The injured person was reportedly taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center via airlift.

  • Size: 250 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Mandatory Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort, Black Bear Resort

Live Update (4:30 p.m.):

  • Size: Significantly larger than 30 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Mandatory Evacuation Areas: Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort, Little Valley Mountain Resort

Live Update (3 p.m.):

  • Size: Significantly larger than 30 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Mandatory Evacuation Areas: None

Live Update (1 p.m.):

  • Size: 30 acres
  • Direction Moving: Northeast
  • Containment: 0%
  • Mandatory Evacuation Areas: None

Prior Story:

Multiple agencies responded to a large brush fire in the Wears Valley community Wednesday morning, according to the Sevier County Fire Department and the Tennessee Division of Forestry. As of 6 p.m., the fire had affected at least 20 structures, like buildings, and one civilian was injured.

Multiple agencies responded to a large brush fire Wednesday morning that was threatening homes in the area.

This comes after fire crews were preparing for the threat of wildfires due to a Red Flag Warning. Firefighters in Sevier County said they were on level 4 alert of 5 for the threat of wildfires on Tuesday. The Tennessee Military Department told WVLT News that the national guard was on standby to fly two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters over the fire if needed.

Sevier County officials began issuing mandatory evacuations around 4:30 p.m. They said people in the Hatcher Mountain, Shagbark Resort and Little Valley Mountain Resort should evacuate immediately. More evacuation orders followed, including one for the Black Bear Resort area and the great Waldens Creek and Wears Valley area. For those evacuated, a shelter was established at the Pigeon Forge Community Center Center, located at 170 Community Center Drive. The shelter was open to families and pets.

If you are in the Wears Valley or Walden's Creek areas please evacuate immediately. The map below shows the evacuation area. If you are unsure if you are in this area, you should evacuate.

Posted by Sevier County Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Highway 321, Wears Valley Road, was closed to traffic from Townsend to Pigeon Forge due to the fire. Officials with the Pigeon Forge Police Department said no traffic will be able to travel into Wears Valley from Pigeon Forge until further notice. Crews closed the road, saying they were focusing on stopping the fire from crossing it and spreading into more populated areas.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters spoke to WVLT News about the situation Wednesday afternoon, saying officials are doing their best to stay ahead of fires, monitor conditions and issue evacuations when needed.

“Stay vigilant. We have personnel going door to door,” he said. “We just want everybody to stay vigilant. Have a phone that’s charged and on and listen to the media.”

When asked how he felt personally, Waters said he felt nervous and asked for prayers.

Tony Ogle, a spokesperson for Sevier County Schools, said that Wearwood Elementary School evacuated its students to the Pigeon Forge Community Center due to the wildfires. He also told WVLT News that buses are en route to Pigeon Forge Primary, Intermediate, Junior High and High School to dismiss students. Once buses arrive, students will be dismissed accordingly.

As of 4:30 p.m., forestry officials also reported one resident was injured and was airlifted out of the area to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Those in the Sevier County area can get the lasted information through the WVLT News app or from officials through Sevier County alerts, which come to cell phones automatically.

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