Rain douses most of wildfire near resort
Updated On: Mar 19 2013 05:51:51 AM CDT
Heavy rains doused most of a wildfire that had damaged more than 35 buildings near the Tennessee resort town of Pigeon Forge, allowing authorities Monday to take firefighters off the line.
Only five acres were still burning Monday evening, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency Director James Bassham told CNN affiliate WATE.
A small crew remained in the area to monitor hot spots, the station said.
Earlier, authorities had evacuated more homes as high winds fanned the wildfire and caused problems for helicopters sent in to help fight the flames.
Authorities were evacuating more residents as the fire threatened 15 to 20 homes in the Priscilla Heights area of Sevier County, Tennessee, Dean Flener of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said.
About 150 people were evacuated Sunday and the American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Pigeon Forge Community Center. Hotels are also allowing residents to stay for free, Flener said.
About 20 fire departments had been fighting the fire, which had burned 260 acres, authorities said.
"Propane tanks have been exploding," Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson said Sunday. "It's been real dangerous."
The blaze started as a house fire, he said.
"It looks like somebody just went through there and just dropped a bomb on the place," Shannon McCostlin told WATE. "I feel bad for them people."
The area is home to rental cabins with some permanent residences.
Pigeon Forge, in eastern Tennessee, is best known for singer Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood, which was not affected by the fire.
Positioned on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, the area also is popular with outdoors enthusiasts and has a wide variety of other attractions, including music theaters, outlet malls, go-kart tracks and miniature golf courses.
Copyright 2013 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Mallory Dies Passes Away; Murder Charges Filed
Friends and family are pulling for hit-and-run victim Mallory Rae Dies
32,500 Medical Records Possibly Compromised At Cottage
The Fresh Market Opens in Santa Barbara
Semi-Truck Driver Avoids Head-On Crash
Two Multi-Car Accidents Slow Traffic in Ventura
Friends React to Hit and Run Accident
Authentic Italian Food Comes to Isla Vista
Best cities for millennials
On this day: December 12