Great Smoky Mountains National Park firefighters are fighting a 25-acre wildfire located along the northwest boundary of the park north of the Abrams Creek Campground area. The Happy Valley Ridge Fire was reported at approximately 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Firefighters from the park and the Tennessee Division of Forestry responded to the fire, which is located inside the park boundary.
Primarily, the fire is slowly spreading with flame lengths less than three feet high through a pine-oak forest. At times, the active fire reached flame heights between five to six feet high during the hottest, driest periods of the afternoon. The fire is burning within a suppression fire zone due to the proximity to the park boundary. A 10-person Hotshot fire crew from the Cherokee National Forest will assist with fire suppression efforts in the morning.
The current location of the fire is not threatening any structures, roads, or trails. All park areas remain open at this time. Visitors should expect to see smoke from the Foothills Parkway West and the Abrams Creek area of the park. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but a natural, lightening start is possible.
UPDATE: September 19, 2016