Tenn. Firefighters Battle Brush Fire at Dollywood

March 17, 2013
Firefighters from 13 departments battled a blaze at the Dollywood theme park in Sevier County. No structures were threatened by fire.

March 17--Fire crews have contained a 10-acre brush fire on Dollywood property tonight with no structures threatened, theme park officials said.

Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens said about 80 firefighters responded to the fire, and a few will remain throughout the evening.

Sevier County E-911 dispatchers said fire crews were switching out to rest while others worked to contain the blaze.

Crews from all 13 fire departments in Sevier County were at Dollywood fighting the brush fire that apparently was started by the park's train as it passed through some woods around 4:40 p.m., Sevier County E-911 dispatchers said.

Dispatchers said Pigeon Forge Fire Department crews initially responded and then activated the Wildland Task Force shortly after 6 p.m. Crews from all volunteer and municipal fire departments in the county responded, as did the Sevier County Emergency Management Agency and the Forestry Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Owens said a bulldozer was brought in to knock down trees and brush to create a fire break.

Owens said the fire was in an undeveloped portion of the park and that the train was being tested. While Owens said it appeared the fire was started by sparks from the train, the fire department will have to investigate to determine the exact cause, he said.

"The area where the fire started was in the upper most part of the train trip, going in the circle and coming back into Dollywood proper," he said.

The park spokesman said it did not appear the fire would affect the season opening on Friday for season ticket holders and on Saturday for the general public.

More details as they develop online and in the Sunday's News Sentinel.

Copyright 2013 - The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.

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