WEARS VALLEY — A fast-moving brush fire off Little Cove Road forced evacuations Tuesday afternoon and drew attention from fire departments throughout Sevier County.
The 20-acre fire, which reportedly started as a controlled burn, was threatening homes and rental cabins in the area.
By Tuesday evening, the fire had damaged at least one structure and caused one minor injury, according to Sevier County Assistant Mayor Perrin Anderson.
As of about 6 p.m., it was 40% contained.
Agencies from throughout Sevier County sent personnel to the scene, along with the Tennessee Division of Forestry and some neighboring counties. There were about 100 firefighters on the scene, Anderson said.
Firefighters were staging in the parking lot of Valley View Baptist Church before being sent to different locations along the mountainside.
Smoke from the fire was visible as far as Dollywood at about 3:20 p.m., and neighbors living along Little Cove Road were keeping an eye on the blaze throughout the afternoon.
Some tourists who had stopped at the staging area said they had seen the fire, and others said a good Samaritan had come by to warn them there was a fire nearby.
Residents said some permanent homes were also threatened by the fire.
By later in the evening, officials were calling for evacuation of a handful of homes.
Firefighters were expected to remain on the scene throughout the night.
The fire was in an area that was also affected by the 2016 wildfires that swept out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.