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Fire burns 59 cabins in Tennessee

March 18, 2013 at 3:16 PM

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., March 18 (UPI) -- Two National Guard helicopters were brought in Monday to help put out a wildfire in Tennessee that has burned 160 acres and destroyed 59 cabins, officials said.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, fire officials said the blaze near Pigeon Forge was contained, but not controlled, and has been decreased in size by about 50 percent, WBIR-TV, Knoxville, Tenn., reported.

The fire, which started Sunday at about 4 p.m., has affected about 160 acres, destroying 59 resort cabins and damaging 16 others, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said.

The Black Hawk helicopters from the Tennessee Air National Guard were sent to the scene at about 7 a.m. Monday to drop water on the flames, the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel reported.

"They'll go to Douglas Lake and dip water with those buckets and drop it on the fire," Perrin Anderson, spokesman for Sevier County, said Monday morning.

Anderson said about 150 people voluntarily evacuated from the area and there have been no reports of injuries.

WATE-TV, Knoxville, Tenn., reported that 25 fire departments were working the fire.

Pigeon Forge is a resort area near Smoky Mountain National Park.

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