UPDATE: May 4 fire in Sevier Co. likely arson


State forestry officials believe last week's brush fire in Sevier County was caused by arson.

The fire burned more than 80 acres in the Gatlinburg-Pittman area last Thursday. Firefighters from around East Tennessee were called in to assist and spent more than 24 hours fighting and monitoring the fire.

Assistant District Forester with the Tennessee Division of Forestry, Nathan Waters, confirmed the cause to our sister affiliate WBIR as suspected arson.

No structural damages or injuries were reported.

On that same day, high winds knocked out power for thousands and closed roads across the area. Sevier County officials announced on Wednesday that they estimated the wind damage at $1.5 million to public property.

Officials with the National Park Service said it measured a 98 miles per hour wind gust at Cove Mountain in Blount County. In other parts of the Smokies there had been winds up to 70 miles per hour.

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