While the Red Cross set up emergency shelters to help people displaced by the Sevier County fires, the Salvation Army has responded with help for the first responders who’ve been working to contain the fire. As of Thursday afternoon, the Wears Valley fire covered about 3,700 acres and was 5 percent contained. Seventy-one fire departments have responded to the call for help.
According to Bo Sells, Divisional Director of Disaster Services, on Wednesday the Salvation Army provided 280 meals, 600 beverages and 425 snacks to first responders working the fire, as well as emotional and spiritual care. Its mobile canteen was set up at Pigeon Forge High School, Sells said.
“The generosity of our community has been overwhelming and we are grateful that we are able to support our firefighters and police officers as they help contain and control the fires,” said Salvation Army Lt. Melissa Melching of the Sevierville Corps. Sells said the canteen will be open as long as first responders are active in the area.
The Sevier County Emergency Management Agency has ordered mandatory evacuation for those in the Wears Valley and Waldens Creek area. They have created a dynamic map into which residents can type their address to see if they are in the evacuation area. The map can be accessed here.
About 11,000 homes were evacuated on Wednesday and about 100 structures have been affected by the fire. Residents needing general information can call 865-774-3899.
Red Cross Shelters have been set up at the Pigeon Forge Community Center, at Seymour Heights Christian Church, and at the Sevierville Convention Center.