Officials determine cause of both Sevier County wildfires

The cause of the Hatcher Mountain Wildfire and the Millstone Gap Wildfire that burned thousands of acres was caused by downed power lines, according to officials.
The cause of the  Hatcher Mountain Wildfire and the Millstone Gap Wildfire that burned...
The cause of the Hatcher Mountain Wildfire and the Millstone Gap Wildfire that burned thousands of acres was downed power lines, according to officials.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
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SEVIER CO., Tenn. (WVLT) - Officials with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Crime Unit released the official cause of the two Sevier County Wildfires that burned thousands of acres.

“Based on the results of our origin and cause investigation, it was determined the two large wildland fires were caused by downed power lines,” ACU Captain Greg Whitehead said. “The high winds that took down the power lines to spark the fires also fueled the progression of the fires.”

The Hatcher Mountain Wildfire started on March 30 and burned more than 2,000 acres with the fire being 100% contained on April 5.

The Millstone Gap Wildfire started on March 31, and burned more than 900 acres with the fire being contained within a week.

“Based on property assessment information, more than $65,700,000 worth of estimated damage was sustained during the Sevier County wildfires of March 30 – April 3,” Sevier County Assistant for Governmental Affairs Perrin Anderson said. “Local agencies incurred more than $3,288,000 of expenses during the Sevier County wildfires of March 30 – April 3.”

The ACU was assisted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pigeon Forge Police Department to determine the cause of the fires.

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