Great Smoky Mountains National Park Contained Small Wildfire Near Park Headquarters in Tennessee

by Jon D. B.

Before the current Thomas Divide Complex Fire, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) would quell a separate, smaller blaze over the weekend.

2022 has been an unusually active year for wildfires in the Smokies so far. Currently, park and allied officials continue to battle the growing Thomas Divide Complex Fire on the North Carolina side of GRSM. But before the two fires comprising this blaze would ignite, a separate incident would have park officials protecting the GRSM headquarters building in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

At 2:00 PM on Thursday, March 24, Great Smoky Mountains National Park was notified of a small 1.5-acre wildfire near the park headquarters building, cites GRSM in a press release. The fire initially sparked between the ranger station and the park maintenance yard.

Pigeon Forge Fire Department and Gatlinburg Fire Department would initially respond for fire suppression efforts. Later, the park says, management would transition to park fire crews.

According to the park, a downed power line along Park Headquarters Road ignited the wildfire. During the blaze, Park Headquarters Road and the Gatlinburg Trail would temporarily close to visitors. Fire crews then monitored the site as Sevier County Electric restored the power line.

In addition, a Great Smoky Mountains National Park fire engine crew monitored the site overnight. But thankfully, local firefighters had the GRSM fire fully contained at approximately 3:05 p.m. 

No structural damage was reported, nor casualties, from this small Tennessee wildfire.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Continues to Battle Thomas Divide Complex Fire

Three days after the park headquarters fire, two wind-fueled wildfires would catch south of the North Carolina half of GRSM. And as of Sunday, March 27, numerous North Carolina locations remain closed as the park battles what is now known as the Thomas Divide Complex Fire.

According to the park’s Sunday press release, GRSM firefighters and multiple agencies are working together to extinguish the complex fire. The fire – which currently contains two separate wildfires – burns east of Bryson City, North Carolina.

Great Smoky Mountains News Release – Park trails remain closed due to Thomas Divide Complex Fire. (Photo credit: GRSM, NPS press release)

The Stone Pile Fire (an approximately 140 acre wildfire as of Mar. 27) currently burns as part of the complex. In addition, The Cooper Creek Fire (at approximately 170 acres Sunday) burns alongside.

For a complete map and list of North Carolina closures during the Thomas Divide Complex Fire, please see our MAP: These Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trails and Campsites Remain Closed Due to Thomas Divide Complex Fire next.