TENNESSEE, USA — On Wednesday, a wildfire was reported in Wears Valley around Hatcher Mountain Road. Later that night, another fire sparked up in Seymour near the Dupont Springs area.
Some 11,000 homes were evacuated starting Wednesday afternoon, Sevier County Larry Waters said.
As of Friday evening, the Wears Valley fire was 85% contained, per the Tennessee Forestry Division. More than 100 structures were affected. Three injuries were reported with the fire, including a contractor and two firefighters. All three are reportedly ok. Some 11,000 homes in the county were evacuated starting Wednesday afternoon, according to Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters.
In Seymour, the fire around Millstone Gap Road and Cold Springs Hollow Road near the Blount-Sevier County line was roughly 800 acres and 20% contained on Friday.
As mandatory evacuations were issued, the Pigeon Forge Community Center and Seymour Heights Christian Church opened shelters, and local organizations started working to meet the needs of those in the area.
Here is how you can help the people affected by the Wears Valley wildfire.
- Mountain Tough is reactivated for donations. All donations will be collected at the Sevier Co. Fairgrounds (54 Old Knoxville Highway Sevierville, TN 37862) starting Friday, April 1 during specific hours. Click here for times and a list of items.
- East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) is providing aid to first responders and local agencies affected by the wildfire.
- Good Time Moving and Storage in Knoxville on S Peters Road is collecting water, drinks, food and eye drops to deliver to fire departments.
- High Caliber K9s LLC in Sweetwater is offering free pet boarding for displaced Wears Valley pets. A photo identification showing a Wears Valley or surrounding area address is required.
- Pigeon Forge High School is accepting donations for first responders including plastic ware, napkins, aluminum foil, deodorant, chapstick, cough drops, lotion, TUMS, chocolate, Little Debbie snacks, breakfast foods, bananas and apples.
- Red Cross is collecting food, toiletries and monetary donations and asking for volunteers at its evacuation shelters.
- Second Harvest Food Bank is providing food assistance at the designated evacuation sites at Pigeon Forge Community Center and Seymour Heights Christian Church.
- Sevier Animal Care Center (1040 Dolly Parton Parkway) is accepting pet food, large dog crates, bottled water for volunteers and non-rawhide chew bones.
- Sevier County Food Ministries (890 Old Knoxville Hwy.) is collecting non-perishable food items, including water, soft drinks and sports drinks (Powerade, Gatorade)
- Sevier County Volunteer Rescue Squad is collecting first aid supplies, ice packs, burn cream and Ace bandages and accepting donations.
- Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department on Goose Gap Road is collecting Gatorade/Powerade, power bars/snacks, fruits, eye drops, socks, wipes, hand sanitizers and Kleenex
This is not a final list. It will be updated as more information becomes available.