News Release

Thomas Divide Complex Fire Efforts Continue

Yellow helicopter in field preparing for take off

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News Release Date: March 27, 2022

Contact: Dana Soehn, 865-436-1207

Contact: Rhonda Wise, 65-250-9829

Contact: Ruthie Edwards, 828-399-0373

Great Smoky Mountains National Park firefighters and multiple agencies continued firefighting efforts to extinguish the Thomas Divide Complex Fire east of Bryson City, North Carolina. The complex is comprised of two wildfires including the Stone Pile Fire and the Cooper Creek Fire. Ignition of both fires has been confirmed as down power lines due to high winds and fallen trees. The Complex Fire is 30% contained with approximately 46% of the affected 750 acres being inside park boundaries.  

The Unified Command Center continues to coordinate the suppression efforts with approximately 70 personnel from the National Park Service, North Carolina Forest Service, Bryson City Fire Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Swain County Fire Department, and Jackson County Emergency Management. Plans are being developed to transfer oversight to the Southern Area Type II Incident Management Team in the upcoming days. Crews will remain in place overnight to provide structure protection. Air resources will return tomorrow to respond if wind speeds allow. 

The following areas remain closed: Backcountry campsites 46, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60; Deep Creek and Thomas Divide trails from Deep Creek to Newfound Gap Road; Pole Road Creek, Indian Creek, Stone Pile Gap, Deep Creek Horse Bypass, Juney Whank Falls, Deeplow, Fork Ridge, Sunkota Ridge, Martins Gap, Indian Creek Motor Nature, Mingus Creek, Newton Bald, Kanati Fork, and Loop trails. Toms Branch Road near Deep Creek is also closed. The Deep Creek Campground and Picnic Area are not scheduled to open for the season until April 15. 


Last updated: March 28, 2022

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