Sevier County under ‘very high’ fire threat, officials ask people to sign up for alerts

The county asks people to not burn and has stopped issuing burn permits.
Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 4:58 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:18 PM EST
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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Sevier County is under a very high wildfire threat, with a burn ban in effect. The county asks people to not burn or use charcoal grills and has stopped issuing burn permits.

The county EMA director, Joe Ayers, said he worried one spark could cause a huge problem in the county.

Ayers said the county’s fire chief is concerned about the severe drought and also the higher winds expected to come through.

The county asked people to not burn and those people who do need to burn for heat or cooking, make sure that the fire is out when you leave it.

They also said to remember to have a water supply handy.

Previous Coverage: Gatlinburg Fire Department, Sevier County latest to issue burn bans amid drought conditions

They said all it takes is a spark when conditions are this dry.

“It’s very easy that someone could be mowing a field and strike a rock that could catch the grass on fire it’s that dry. So anybody that is around their residences or somewhere that has a cooking fire or a warming fire we want to make sure you stay with it,” said Ayers. “Fuels that are on the ground are very dry and prone to igniting very easily. With the increased winds that’s going to allow any fires to spread quickly that could threaten local infrastructure and homes.”

They hope you’ve followed all the advice from the Firewise program.

That means, you give yourself five feet of defensible space from around your home, cleared out your gutters and raked off your property.

They’re also encouraging everyone to have the Code Red Alert App which you can register for here.

That’s how they’ll pass along information as needed in the event something happens.