Breaking News
More () »

Cocke County pitches in to help firefighters battling Mill Creek wildfire

Pizzas, water, snacks and support. The community in Cocke County is making sure the firefighters battling the wildfire on the mountains are taken care of on the job.

COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. — Fire crews are still fighting the Mill Creek wildfire in Cocke County. The community is making sure the firefighters know how much they are appreciated.

The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday the fire continued to burn hundreds of acres, but no building were at risk anymore. It was 75 percent contained as of 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

It is burning near the North Carolina state line inside the Cherokee National Forest. Forest Service bosses said people in the area started the fire about a week ago. It's unclear if it was set intentionally or by accident. 

Crews said they hope to have the fire out by the end of the weekend.

But, as smoke still billows from the mountains, crews are breathing a sigh of relief. There's positive progress in containing the fire.

For the past week, volunteer crews pitched in to help battle the wildfire blaze. Grassy Fork Fire Chief Walt Cross was one of them.

"All of our departments here in Cocke County were involved in fighting the fire, staying up at night, monitoring, we were there every night until last night," Cross said.

The volunteers were protecting their home with no hesitation.

"It was extremely steep, some would say as steep as a horse's face, very very steep," Cross nodded.

The community wanted to make sure those firefighters were taken care of, too.

"Our door is always open to anybody that needs help," Budi, the owner of Milano's restaurant said.

Milano's restaurant in Newport donated 17 pizzas to crews as a thank you.

"It's hard to me to see what happened, I just wanted to say thanks, they work hard," Budi explained.

Budi tries to give back every chance he can.

"I have something to give them to make them feel like I care," Budi nodded.

Churches, organizations and neighbors have also pitched in to donate waters and snacks. No matter the gift, firefighters said everything was appreciated.

"It's just great to have the community support behind you," Cross said. "It's a big family."

A family that never hesitates to help.

RELATED: Mill Creek fire near I-40 in Cherokee National Forest 75% contained, believed to be human-caused