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Rain brings sudden halt to Sevier County mountainside fire

Robert L. Wilson • Mar 19, 2013 at 7:18 AM

PIGEON FORGE — A massive wildfire that swept through a Sevier County mountainside resort, destroying dozens of vacation cabins and scorching some 160 acres as it burned for more than 24 hours, was virtually stopped in its tracks by a Monday afternoon thunderstorm.

The showers arrived as welcome reinforcement for nearly 300 firefighters and other emergency responders among 50 agencies who had converged on the Black Bear Ridge Resort.

“It’s absolutely changed the course of action we were anticipating,” Sevier County Emergency Management Director John Mathews said Monday night. “For a while it seemed like it was raining everywhere but here. ... Without this rain, we would still be out there in full force.”

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