As of 12:00 pm on December 1st, the Chimney Tops 2 Fire has burned 17,108 acres (including roughly 10,000 acres inside the park). Arson is suspected. According to InciWeb, there is 0% containment of the fire. Although Sevier County received significant amounts of moisture yesterday, more will be needed. “We had really good rain, but not enough to make up the deficit. Don’t let this rain give you a false sense of security.” Michael Proud, Incident Meteorologist, warned. Warmer weather, wind and decreased humidity will increase fire activity during the peak of the day. “The fire is not out, it is just knocked down.” Mark Jamieson, Operations Section Chief, stated.
Gatlinburg officials announced today that they anticipate the downtown Parkway business district, along with the River Road area, will open to public on Monday, December 5th.
Road and Trail Closure Status in Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
• Great Smoky Mountains National Park and trails are closed from the Gatlinburg entrance along Highway 441 to Smokemont, near Cherokee, North Carolina. Highway 441, Little River Road, Cherokee Orchard Road, Sugarlands Visitor Center and Clingmans Dome are currently closed. The Cades Cove and Oconoluftee Visitor Centers are now open.
• The following trails and campsites are closed to due fire until further notice: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Huskey Gap Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail, Rough Creek Trail, Little River Trail, Cucumber Gap Trail, Jakes Creek Trail, Miry Ridge Trail, Goshen Prong Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, Bullhead Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Alum Cave Trail, Brushy Mountain Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, Baskins Creek Trail, Porters Creek Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail, Campsites 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, Mt. Le Conte shelter, and Mt. Collins shelter.
Here are a few key websites to follow:
* The recently launched Chimney Tops 2 Fire Facebook page appears to be the central information hub concerning the wildfire, covering Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the park itself. They just published an interactive map that allows you to view the footprint of the burn area. If you pan out, you will see that the park has several fires burning all around it.
* InciWeb, the Federal incident information system, provides details on the current fire situation. They also have a map of the impacted area.
* WBIR has published some detailed information on how you can help fire evacuees - please click here for the most up-to-date information. Knox News also has an updated list of ways to help.
* WBIR has published a list on the status of several businesses and buildings in the Gatlinburg area. They appear to be updating this as more information becomes available.
* Knox News has published a timeline showing how the fire essentially blew up.
* For the latest on road and trail closures and openings in the Great Smoky Mountains, visit this park page, or the park Twitter account.
* For the latest weather conditions and forecasts, please click here.