fire

Smoke from the fire in the Dupont area of Seymour can be seen behind the charred remnants of a home on Hatcher Mountain. The Hatcher Mountain fire was almost completely contained on Saturday afternoon, with the fire in Seymour around 60% contained. 

Officials said the Hatcher Mountain/Indigo Lane wildfire is approximately 95% contained during a press conference this afternoon, with approximately 2,675 total acres burned and 300 structures affected. 

The Dupont fire in Seymour is about 60% contained, with around 664 total acres burned and one structure in Sevier County and a second in Blount County affected. 

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters gave credit to the emergency responders who worked the fires, especially those in leadership positions, for how well the response was when dry weather and high winds caused a wildfire to explode from 200-plus acres to several thousand on Wednesday. 

"I believe the organization this time and the effectiveness of all of our firefighters, especially the effectiveness of the team we have in place that was directing all the activities, I couldn't ask for more and better organization than we had," Waters said. 

He also credited lessons learned from the 2016 wildfires that came out of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and into Gatlinburg and other surrounding areas. Those lessons led to changes to emergency notifications that gave local authority the ability to immediately send out notifications to people in affected areas. 

Officials expressed gratitude for the responders from around the region, including state and federal assistance and all the volunteers who stepped up to help responders. 

"We had literally hundreds of folks come into Sevier County and have spent the last few days fight and contain these fires. We certainly appreciate that. (Pigeon Forge City Manager) Earlene Teaster and I had an opportunity today to visit with a lot of the folks volunteering in our area —  the folks in staging area for firefighters, folks who are feeding them at Pigeon forge High School — and thank them for the work they are doing. What we told them earlier is because of that work I firmly believe lives have been saved and property has been saved," Waters said. 

"We cannot say enough about that, and on behalf of the citizens of Sevier County I want to thank everyone who has been involved in this effort."

For more stories about the Hatcher Mountain and Dupont fires read the Tuesday edition of The Mountain Press.