Firefighters battled high wind Thursday as a wildfire jumped a fire break and ignited several unoccupied rental cabins and up to 500 acres on a mountain near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials said. There have been no injuries. We have been very fortunate, Nathan Waters, a spokesman for the Tennessee Division of Forestry, said from the fire scene on Cove Mountain, about 35 miles south of Knoxville.
About 40 firefighters and foresters from six counties fought flames pushed by winds of up to 50 mph and fueled by dead trees killed by beetles and ice storms.
“It has just been a mess,” Waters said. “The wind and the slope have been the two major factors.”
Waters estimated six of 10 unoccupied rental cabins at the top of the mountain burned. At least four families were evacuated from nearby homes.