Fire Crews are working to put out separate fires on opposite sides of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A wildfire east of Elkmont in the Tennessee section of the park foced the closure of Laurel Falls, Little Roundtop, Little Greenbriar, Little Brier Gap, and Cove Mountain Trails near Gatlinburg. The fire was started by an illegal campfire.
On the North Carolina side of the park, firefighters are working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to contain a more dramatic blaze that was sparked by a downed power line on the Qualla Boundary Reservation near Cherokee. Several local fire departments also responded to completely separate fire in the Cobbly Knob community that burned up to the Foothills Parkway east of Gatlinburg, but is now largely contained.
The unseasonably warm weather, low rain, and 10-15 mph winds that Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee has been seeing recently is considered a “perfect storm” for wildfires.
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