The Tweed wildfire is continuing to burn in Cocke and Greene Counties north of Del Rio. That fire is still at 536 acres and is 60% contained. The investigation into the fire is continuing as officials suspect arson as the cause of that fire.
Dollywood operations were shut down for about 45 minutes Thursday afternoon after a fire broke out west of the amusement park along East Ridge Road. That fire burned 5 acres and did damage one structure as there are rental cabins in that area, which is between Veterans Parkway and the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. That fire is 100% contained but crews are continuing to closely watch that fire.
There are several active fires burning in East Tennessee this morning. One in Union County is 50 acres and 40% contained. A 90 acre fire in eastern Anderson County is 30% contained and a 2600 acre fire in southern Scott County is at 60% containment.
Burn bans are in effect throughout East Tennessee including in Cocke, Greene and Sevier Counties. Fire officials are advising residents to use extreme caution if you are cooking outdoors using even a charcoal grill as one spark could ignite another fire.
Due to the fire danger, the National Park Service has issued a ban on all campfires and charcoal use in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The fire restriction is in effect until further notice on both the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of the park. Campers, backpackers and visitors using picnic areas may continue to use cookstoves with compressed gas canisters and gas grills that have an on/off switch. Stoves and grills should be attended at all times.
Rain is badly needed and should see at least a little rain later today. We actually have a better chance of rain coming in by next week.