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

Any outdoor burning is prohibited, including campfires, barrel burning and charcoal grills.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 12:57 PM EST
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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Gatlinburg Fire Department and Sevier County have become the latest to issue burn bans as the area is seeing increased drought conditions and several wildfires break out.

Any outdoor burning is prohibited until further notice, including campfires, barrel burning and charcoal grills. Fireworks are also not allowed in the city, however, fire department officials said gas grills and fire pits are still allowed.

“The Gatlinburg Fire Department urges all individuals to heed this burn ban, as the recent dry weather and low humidity have led to a very high fire danger,” Gatlinburg Fire Chief Charlie Cole said. “Even with the forecast of rain on Friday evening and Saturday morning, these small amounts of precipitation will not alleviate the deficit of rainfall and dry conditions that have been experienced this fall. Please continue to be vigilant and aware of the fire risk in the area.”

Sevier County is also under a burn ban.

“With the current dry conditions and low humidity values, the risk of wildfires is very high,” said Sevier County Fire and Rescue Chief David Puckett. “A single spark could ignite a wildfire that could threaten lives and property.”

According to the National Weather Service, this fall marks the driest fall on record in several places in East Tennessee, like Knoxville.