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Sevier County fires update - 2,460 structures, 176 injuries, 14 fatalities
DECEMBER 7, 2016 at 9:33 p.m.

GATLINBURG -- On Thursday, December 8, property owners, business owners, renters, and lease holders will continue to have full-time occupancy beginning at 6:00 a.m. through the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point. The curfew will be in effect from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. on Thursday. Delivery trucks (food service, etc.) may enter through the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point and the Spur entrance checkpoint to Gatlinburg. Only delivery trucks can enter through the Spur checkpoint.

The City of Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business and to the general public on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 a.m. Major roadways are expected to be open, but some city roadways may remain closed to accommodate utility work. More information will be provided throughout the week.

Local officials have provided the following update:

• To date, there are 14 confirmed fatalities.
• To date, there have been 176 injuries/illnesses.
• 2,460 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire.
• There are currently 16 crews, 46 engines, 3 helicopters, 1 dozer, 593 total personnel fighting the Chimney Top 2 Fire as a part of the Type 1 Federal Incident Management Team.
• The Chimney Top 2 Fire is estimated to be 64% contained. The Cobbly Nob Fire is estimated to be 67% contained. After all the recent destruction, people may feel insecure about going back into areas where a wildfire is "not 100% contained." Please know that the Southern Area Incident Management Team is confident that the containment lines are very secure in all the areas near homes and businesses. There are some sections that lines simply have not been built yet, hence they are showing as "not contained." The team is making progress each day. With the rain and the high humidity, fire activity has been very low. There will be occasional "smokes" seen in the interior of the fire. These are large pieces of wood that haven't absorbed enough water and are still smoldering.
• The Spur parkway is open only from Pigeon Forge to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center.
• Wiley Oakley Drive Road remains inaccessible due to critical utility work. Emergency crews are working to open it as soon as possible. Cliff Branch Road is open.
• The Water Boil Advisory is still in effect for the following areas in Gatlinburg: Ski Mountain, Chalet Village, Greystone Heights, Smoky View Road, and Campbell Lead areas.
• Water usage from the firefighting activities and loss from fire-damaged structures has greatly affected the water supply. Due to the substantial loss of water in certain storage tanks and water lines it may appear cloudy or discolored for a period of time. Running a substantial amount of water through all outlets in the plumbing system should expel the discoloration within a period of time. The water supply for the downtown area has stabilized and is at full capacity. Water service in the east Gatlinburg area was not affected by this event.

Due to severe fire damage to certain water system pumping stations, the following residential areas are temporarily still out of water service:

• Cliff Branch Road
• Loop Road
• Topside Drive and Topside Road
• Little Fox Road
• Forest Springs Drive and Forest Springs Lane
• Spring Drive
• Silverbell Heights
• Silverbell Lane (above intersection with Loop Road)
• Foothills Drive
• Kings Way, both sides and outside city limits
• Colt Lane
• Mountain Stream Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)
• Gatlinburg Falls Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)
• Great Smoky Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)

Related stories:
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National Park issues updated report on Chimney Tops wildfire; 7 fatalities, 700 structures lost
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Published December 7, 2016

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