GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS, N.C. (WSPA) – Several trails and campsites are closed due to a wildfire in the Great Smoky Mountains.
According to the National Park Service, the trails and campsites closed around 4:30 p.m. Saturday due to wildfire activity near Deep Creek and Newfound Gap Road.
At approximately 1 p.m., park officials said they were notified that a fire south of the park near Cooper Creek was approaching the park boundary. When responding to the fire, Park Rangers found another fire near Stone Pile Gap near the Thomas Divide area.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is leading the efforts to put out the Cooper Creek Fire, NPS said. Bryson City Fire Department is leading the efforts to put out the Thomas Divide Fire Complex.
Park officials said NPS, state and county resources have also responded. An incident command post is located at the Swain County East Elementary School.
The following areas are closed, according to officials:
- Backcountry campsites: 46, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60
- Deep Creek and Thomas Divide trails from Deep Creek to Newfound Gap Road
- Pole Road Creek Trail
- Indian Creek Trail
- Stone Pile Gap Trail
- Deep Creek Horse Bypass Trail
- Juney Whank Falls Trail
- Deeplow Trail
- Fork Ridge Trail
- Sunkota Ridge Trail
- Martins Gap Trail
- Indian Creek Motor Nature Trail
- Mingus Creek Trail
- Newton Bald Trail
- Kanati Fork Trail
- Loop Trail
According to NPS, Toms Branch Road near Deep Creek is also closed and the Deep Creek Campground and Picnic Area are not scheduled to open for the season until April 15.