Gatlinburg's deadly Chimney Tops 2 Fire 82 percent contained

Smoke continues to rise from the Alamo Steakhouse in Gatlinburg, Tenn., Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, after it burned during deadly wildfires. Businesses remained closed Monday in the fire-ravaged Tennessee community but many were in cleanup mode in hopes of reopening to the public, possibly by midweek. ((Photo credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Mattise)

UPDATE (11:03 p.m.) -- The Chimney Tops 2 is now 82 percent contained and the Cobbly Nob Fire is 89 percent contained.

The Chimney Tops 2 and Cobbly Nob fires continued to burn Wednesday, but the actual size of the fires did increase.

Chimney Tops 2 Fire, estimated to be 17,006 acres, is 82 percent contained. Because of more accurate mapping, the Cobbly Nob Fire is now estimated to be 819 acres. Containment on it is up to 89 percent.

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Despite the rain, heat still exists within the fire perimeter, and smoke may be visible within the fire perimeter from time to time. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop hot spots that may threaten containment lines or structures.

Property and business owners, renters and lease holders are being allowed to return to full-time occupancy Wednesday through the East Parkway (Hwy. 321) entry point. A curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Use caution when entering the burned area.

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The City of Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business and to the general public at 7 a.m. Friday. Major roadways are expected to be open, but some city roadways may remain closed to accommodate utility work.

Even though the fire is not 100 percent contained, the areas opening to the public have been deemed safe. But please be cautious in the area. Be prepared for hazards such as damaged trees, collapse of structural material and utility issues.

The Chimney Tops 2 Fire was reported in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, about 5:20 p.m. Nov. 23.

The wildfire began burning in Chimney Tops, a remote location of the park in steep terrain with vertical cliffs and narrow rocky ridges, making access to the wildfire area difficult for firefighting efforts.

On Nov. 28, the exceptional drought conditions and extreme winds caused the wildfire to grow rapidly, causing numerous new wildfire starts from embers carried miles away and downed powerlines in and adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

To date, there are 14 confirmed fatalities. Over 145 people sustained injuries, and 1,753 structures have been damaged or destroyed.

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