Wildfire spreads in the Smokies

GATLINBURG (WATE) – More roadways and trails were closed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to a wildfire.

According to the National Park Service, the Chimney 2 fire grew to 500 acres overnight due to extreme winds over 20 mph.

The National Park Service issued an air quality alert because the conditions are unhealthy in the area and nearby locations in Sevier County. The smoke has made conditions “exceed the human health standard.” The park says active children and adults, and people with respiratory and pulmonary disease are at risk. People are advised to spending a lot of time outdoors and to have limited exposure.

The fire is moving northeast and winds have caused the fire to spread to parts in the Chimney Tops and Bullhead Ridge areas. Crews say structures at LeConte Lodge or any place outside of the park’s boundaries (Gatlinburg, Pittman Center or Cosby facilities) are not in immediate danger.

Three helicopters dropped water in the area on Sunday. More firefighters were requested to help with the fire Monday.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by a person.