Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – Two wind-driven wildfires on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park led to the immediate closure of several trails and campsites.
The fires are burning between Deep Creek and Newfound Gap Road.
Park officials were notified of a fire near Cooper Creek around 1 p.m. While responding to this fire, park rangers detected another fire near Stone Pile Gap, near the Thomas Divide area.
The park service has said the following areas are closed until further notice:
- Backcountry campsites 46, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60;
- Deep Creek and Thomas Divide Trails from Deep Creek to Newfound Gap Road
- Pole Road Stream
- indian stream
- Stone pile gap
- Deep Creek Horse Bypass
- Juney Whank Falls
- fork ridge
- Sunkota Ridge
- Martin’s Gap
- Indian Creek Motor Nature
- Mingus Creek
- bald newton
- Kanati Fork and Loop Trails
- Toms Branch Road near Deep Creek
Several agencies and organizations are responding to the fires. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is leading the Cooper Creek fire suppression efforts. The Bryson City Fire Department is leading the Thomas Divide fire suppression efforts. NPS and county resources are also on hand.
This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
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