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What you need to know about the wildfire near Great Smoky Mountians National Park

By Jenn

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***Updated March 31, 2022 8:00 PM to reflect containment updates

** Updated March 31, 2022 5:36 PM to reflect new containment information

*Updated March 31, 2022 3:22 PM to reflect road status updates

On March 30, a wildfire broke out between Pigeon Forge and Townsend, near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That fire, called Hatcher MountainRoad/Indigo Lane. Fire, is approximately 7 miles northeast of Townsend and is not moving towards Townsend at this time.

View from the Foothills Parkway, October 2021

Regarding the fire status, there is good news and bad news this morning. The good news is that there are no reports of fatalities or missing people and that people largely heeded evacuation orders. Other positive news is that although the fire grew to approximately 3,700 acres, it could have been much worse due to the high winds, but growth was hampered by rising humidity throughout the night and finally a little rain.

The bad news is that over 100 structures have burned and approximately 11,000 people are under evacuation orders.

Fire officials estimate 45%*** containment at this time with containment growth expected today due to calmer winds.

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Townsend are all open for business. US 321, Wears Valley Rd. Is now open.

Overlook along US 441

With the exception of the Foothills Parkway and Wears Cove Gap Rd., Great Smoky Mountains National Park is largely unaffected by the fire but you should expect to see fire personnel and equipment staging in nearby communities.

The fire is spreading in a northerly direction, which is away from the park. The picnic area at Metcalf Bottoms is open, but Limestone Rd., beyond the picnic area is closed.

Little River Rd. all of the way from the Townsend Wye to the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Cades Cove Rd., Laurel Creed Rd., Cherokee Orchard Rd., and 441/Newfound Gap Rd. between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC, have all reopened this morning after being closed from yesterday’s high winds.

Elkmont campground and all other campgrounds remain open. The Thomas Divide Complex fire has closed several backcountry campsites for hikers on the North Carolina side of the park near Bryson City.

Near the Townsend entrance to the park

An evacuation map can be found here.

The best source for current road status in the national park is their Twitter account.

Trail closure information see this website.