Horton Fire 90% Contained, Fires In Gatlinburg Claim Three Lives (2016-11-30 14:48:54)

The Horton fire area received beneficial rain Monday night and Tuesday, and more rain is forecast for today.

The Horton fire is 90% contained and 1,450 acres. There are approximately 50 resources on the fire. Firefighters will continue to monitor and patrol the perimeter, extinguishing hotspots. Although the rain significantly cooled surface heat, only a ¼ inch of was received overnight. This is not enough moisture to cool deep-seated pockets of heat that hold out in stump holes. Steep terrain, hidden hotspots and snags pose hazards to firefighters mopping up hotspots.

Fire managers are developing a rehabilitation plan with North Carolina State Forest Service for the Horton Fire area. This plan involves, to the extent possible, returning the landscape that has been modified during firefighting operations to its original state.  


The Incident Command Post has moved to the Blowing Rock Fire Department to allow the Laurel Fork Baptist Church to hold their Wednesday night service. Incident Commander Rodney Weeks expressed gratitude to the Laurel Fork Baptist Church for their support.

Information for Horton Fire will be posted through Friday on, Twitter @FireHorton, and on the Watauga County Emergency Management Facebook page.

In Tennessee, fires in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area have taken a heavy toll.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that three people have died in the fires. In addition, Fourteen injuries are reported. Waters said around 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the fire in the county. Around 2,000 people have taken shelter from the fires. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said this is the largest fire in 100 years in Tennessee.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service says the fires in the park and Gatlinburg community have been collectively estimated to total 15,000 acres. Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner, whose house and business were destroyed in the fire, says a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew has been put in place in Gatlinburg and people are urged to boil water before drinking it.