State of emergency declared in Pigeon Forge fire
Updated On: Mar 18 2013 04:44:46 PM CDT
UPDATE 12:00 p.m.: Tennessee Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters equipped with “Bambi Buckets” are assisting local firefighters from 25 fire companies in fighting a massive wildfire near Pigeon Forge.
Two helicopters are currently engaged with a third Blackhawk and LUH-72 Lakota on standby.
The helicopters are staging at the Tennessee Army National Guard Flight facility at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville.
Fire departments from several counties and the Tennessee Division of Forestry continued to battle the fire throughout Sunday night.
Sevier County Fire Department confirmed that the fire damaged at least 35 cabins near Black Bear Ridge Resort and Trappers Ridge. Officials report that currently the fire is contained, but not controlled. Lines have been built all around, but they are very concerned about heavy, prevailing winds pushing fire towards Pigeon Forge.
A massive fire in Sevier County prompts Tennessee officials to declare a state of emergency. Click here to view photos.
The level three state of emergency was declared at 7 a.m. Monday morning to help battle the blaze that is blamed for destroying at least 35 buildings.
Most of those are vacation cabins at a local resort.
The fire in Pigeon Forge began around 4:20 Sunday afternoon and covers more than 130 acres.
There are no reports of fatalities or injuries at this time.
However, about 150 people have been evacuated from the area and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Several local fire departments and state crews are still on the scene.
Copyright 2013 by WCYB. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.