2016-12-13 Udate Chimney Tops 2 Fire
Incident: Cobbly Nob Wildfire
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. On Wednesday, December 7 the Sevier County District Attorney announced that two juveniles from Tennessee, who are not residents of Sevier County, were arrested in connection with the fire. Although these arrests have been made, the investigation into this incident is still ongoing.
The fires continued to stay within the established containment lines. The Chimney Tops 2 fire acreage increased 17,140 due to more precise mapping. The Cobbly Nob fire acreage remained unchanged at 764. 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 through Wednesday will keep fire behavior to a minimum and no spread is expected.
Management of the fires continues to adjust personnel and equipment resources to meet objectives. With minimal fire behavior expected throughout the remainder of the week, the South Atlantic Type III Interagency Management Team plans to fly aerial reconnaissance today, as weather allows, surveying any remaining hot spots. With little activity expected, the team plans to transition command of the fires within park boundaries back to the National Park Service, which is considered a Type IV incident management team. The Tennessee Division of Forestry continues to conduct fire suppression and management outside of park boundaries. Firefighters with all operations will continue to monitor and patrol the fires and provide initial attack, as needed, until all fires are 100% contained.
Chimney Tops 2
Start Date: Nov 23 Size: 17,140 Containment: 94%
Start Date: Nov 28 Size: 764 Containment: 96%
Incident Resources: 5 hand crews, 15 engines, 1 helicopter, 180 total personnel
Weather: An upper level disturbance will spread more light rain showers across the Southern Appalachians today. A strong cold front will pass across the area on Wednesday bringing a slight chance of rain showers, but mainly resulting in much colder and drier air late in the week.
Road Closure Status: Cherokee Orchard Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains closed.
Trail 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.Be vigilant while driving; emergency vehicles and personnel may be working in areas open to the public.