Wednesday, December 14, 2016
THIS WILL BE THE FINAL UPDATE FOR THE CHIMNEY TOPS 2 FIRE
Incident Summary: The Chimney Tops 2 Fire was reported in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, TN on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at approximately 5:20 pm. The wildfire began burning in a remote location (Chimney Tops) of the park in steep terrain with vertical cliffs and narrow rocky ridges making access to the wildfire area difficult for firefighting efforts. On Monday, November 28, exceptional drought conditions and extreme winds caused the wildfire to grow rapidly, causing many new wildfire starts from embers carried miles away and downed powerlines in and adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Cobbly Nob Fire was one of these fires.
Fire Status: Both the Chimney Tops 2 and the Cobbly Nob fire acreages remained unchanged at 17,140 and 764 respectively. Containment of both fires remained the same for Chimney Tops 2 at 94% and Cobbly Nob at 96%. Rainfall over the area and high humidity will keep fire behavior to a minimum and no spread is expected. Containment will increase once aerial reconnaissance of the fire perimeter can be conducted; weather has prohibited air operations for the last two days.
On Thursday, December 15, management of the fires within park boundaries will transition from the South Atlantic Interagency Incident Management Team to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to be managed with local resources and personnel. General fire information questions should be directed to Sugarlands Visitor Center at (865) 436-1291. Updated trail and backcountry campsite information can be obtained by visiting https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm or by calling (865) 436-1297.
Firefighters with all operations will continue to monitor and patrol the fires until all fires are 100% contained. The Tennessee Division of Forestry continues to conduct fire suppression and management outside of park boundaries.
Incident Resources: 3 hand crews, 10 engines, 1 helicopter, 130 total personnel
Road Closure Status: Cherokee Orchard Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains closed at this time. For updated park road information please call (865) 436-1200, extension 631.
Trail and Campsite Closure Status: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mt Collins Shelter to Little River Road, Huskey Gap Trail, Rough Creek Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, Twin Creeks Trail, Baskins Creek Trail, Bull Head Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail from Campsite 32 to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Gatlinburg Trail, Cove Mountain Trail, Sugarland Valley Nature Trail, Noah Bud Ogle Nature Trail, Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, the Sugarlands Horse Concession trails, and the quiet walkways along Newfound Gap Road. All park campsites that are normally open this time of year are open, with the exception of Campsite 21 on Huskey Gap Trail.