SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — Crews continue to clean up and monitor a brush fire that burned in Wears Valley on Saturday.
The 60-acre fire was 100% contained as of Saturday evening, and crews continue to check their containment lines.
The fire didn't damage any structures, and crews were able to quickly get a handle on it despite powerful winds gusting at 60 to 70 miles per hour. Roughly 10 cabins in the area had to be evacuated out of precaution, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.
Fire crews said their experience battling the 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires, which spread rapidly due to high winds and severely dry conditions, gave them an edge when it came to fighting the fire and communication.
"We never treat a forest fire alike from another forest fire. They're all different and we also always have to keep ourselves in a safe place and we always need to keep an out for each other," Gerald Shelton with the Tennessee Division of Forestry said.
Early in the week after the brush fire, charred trees, black soil and the smell of smoke still lingered in Ravens Den. It served as a reminder to Shelton of how quickly things went on Saturday.
"The fire going up the side of the mountain did spread fast, but when it got to the top of the mountain and it started to back down on the other side there was moisture and it slowed down," Shelton noted.
In 2016, tens of thousands of acres burned in the Smoky Mountains. The winds were also strong then, but there wasn't as much moisture then as there was this time in Wears Valley.
"Everything burnt in its path in 2016: the logs, the heavy fuels, everything burnt up," Shelton remembered.
Fire crews said they learned a lot about communication and how to get ahead of the flames from the 2016 wildfires.
Neighbors said they're thankful so many agencies were up on those narrow roads protecting their home. Crews took time to make containment lines around houses, something they wish they could have done more of in 2016.
In the cleanup, neighbors and crews are thankful to rise from the ash.
"And thank the good Lord for the shower of rain," Shelton smiled.
Fire crews said they suspect the winds knocked down a power line, sparking the fire.
Crews will continue to monitor the area and make sure those containment lines stay in place. There were still a few hot spots on Monday, but Shelton expects those will die down in the coming days.