Wildfire Burns 35 Pigeon Forge Cabins; How to Stay Safe

A fire started at one Pigeon Forge cabin Sunday afternoon, then spread quickly to encompass a 135-acre area, according to CBS news. The fire has already destroyed at least 35 cabins at Black Bear Ridge Resort.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, nearly 30 different fire departments from East Tennessee are trying to help control the blaze. Two Black Hawk helicopters from the Tennessee Air National Guard left this morning at 7 a.m. to survey the situation. According to Perrin Anderson, spokesman for Sevier County, the helicopters will then go to Douglas Lake and dip water with large buckets and drop it on the fire.

So far, there are no reports of injuries, but at least 150 people have been evacuated from the area.

Firefighters are expecting to continue fighting through tonight, though they hope to get some help from rain forecasts.

No one is yet reporting how the fire started, but it’s likely that it started at a rental cabin. Many of the cabin resorts (like Black Bear Ridge) have cabins packed so close together that fires can get out of control very, very quickly. How can you make sure this doesn’t happen when you are staying at a cabin?

Fire safety while staying in the mountains


  • It is ILLEGAL to shoot fireworks in Sevier county, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, which encompasses ALL rental cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
  • Don’t bring fireworks to your mountain cabin, even if it is the 4th of July. Novelty fireworks are allowed, but anything with a 1.4G written on the box is not allowed — usually anything that needs an ignition source or needs to be lit.

Outdoor fires

  • Make sure to make fires only in fire grates while staying in the mountains.
  • While using the fire, make sure you do the following:
    • Keep your fire to a manageable size
    • Never leave the fire unattended
    • Make sure kids and pets are supervised when near the fire
    • Never cut live trees or branches from live trees.
  • When you are finished with your fire:
    • Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
    • Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL the embers, not just the red ones
    • Pour until hissing sound stops
    • Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
    • Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers
    • If you do not have water, use dirt
About Kendra
  • BryanBe

    I am glad noone was injured in these fires. That being said, I am not surprised that this has happened. I have never been to Black Bear Ridge Resort, but if it’s like alot of the new cabin areas in PF, I’d imagine the cabins were practically stacked on top of one another. Hopefully, this fire will change the way developers design their resort properties. Maybe they shouldn’t try to cram as many houses as they can onto a hilltop.
    Another thing I noticed from news coverage I saw was that reporters mentioned several times, “there was no threat to Dollywood,” Really?
    Is that the ONE thing that everyone was worried about?
    How about there was no threat to residential areas, or local schools or THE PLANET’S MOST-VISITED NATIONAL PARK!!!! I didn’t see a word about GSMNP in 90% of these stories. Uggh!
    Sorry for the rant. I guess I need a chalet weekend in the Smokies, and hopefully without a bunch of new regulations banning grills and fireplace use…

    • http://www.cabinconnection.com/ Kendra Beutler

      You’re right, they cabins WERE right on top of each other. You can certainly see how they would all catch.

      Brian, I thought it was funny about Dollywood, too. I kept thinking, “How is Dollywood involved in this?” And then I realized that it wasn’t — they were just using it as a frame of reference. Crazy that more people would recognize that than the Great Smokies! What?!?

      Rants are allowed and even encouraged here! Rant on, friend! And I need a weekend away, too! Happy spring!