US wildfire burning down tourist cabins


US wildfires burning down tourist cabins

A wildfire has destroyed or damaged about 65 structures, most of them tourist cabins, at a resort in eastern Tennessee.

Reuters reports that 150 people have been forced from the area but officials reported no injuries on Monday.

Authorities were called to a cabin fire on Sunday afternoon and the blaze had grown to 160 acres by Monday in and around Pigeon Forge, a tourist destination near the North Carolina border and an entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Huffington Post reports that heavy rain helped firefighters contain the wildfire on Monday, with about 100 firefighters from about 30 fire departments battling the blaze.

US wildfires burning down tourist cabins

The fire was contained on Monday morning but flames broke through the lines early Monday afternoon before rain from a passing storm began dousing the flames.

According to CNN, the downpour allowed authorities to pull most of the teams off the fire line.

A skeleton crew kept watch on Tuesday morning as about five acres were actively burning, according to Tennessee Emergency Management.

But Emergency Management spokesman Dean Flener said the threat of the fire spreading is not over even though it is greatly diminished.

"We don't consider the situation in the clear at all," he said.

US wildfires burning down tourist cabins

Pigeon Forge is home to country singer Dolly Parton's theme park Dollywood. It is located on the other side of the town from the forest fire.

About 56 cabins at Black Bear Ridge Resort have been damaged by the fire.

Debbie Parry who works for the resort company told Reuters: "We're not allowed back on the property.

"There are a few permanent residences in there, but the majority are tourist cabin rental places."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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