The Sevier County Commission unanimously approved two resolutions Monday as a part of the continued response to the devastating wildfires that swept through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg last year.
The first resolution clarified Dec. 31 as the deadline for property owners to apply for permits to remove wildfire debris from their property. Owners will then have 90 days from the issuance date to complete the debris removal.
The commission had previously set Dec. 31 as the deadline for removing all wildfire debris from area property.
The second approved resolution gives the go ahead to the third phase of installation for the county’s new siren warning system. Those sirens will serve as a warning in the event of a future fire or other natural disaster. Phase three will see added sirens around schools in nine county communities, including Seymour and Boyd’s Creek. Phase one saw the addition of five new warning sirens in Gatlinburg, an area that suffered several fatalities as a result of last year’s fire.
Tommy Watts, commissioner of Sevier County’s First District, said both resolutions will serve to help those still dealing with the fire’s aftermath.
“It’s kind a deal where we’re trying to get everybody in compliance,” Watts said, noting that there is significant coordination between citizens and a private property debris removal program run through FEMA. “We’re just trying to help everybody get things healed up and prevent things in the future and get up to date with things.”
The 2016 wildfires claimed the lives of 14 individuals and injured 134 more. It’s estimated around 2,000 buildings were either damaged or destroyed in the blaze that consumed nearly 18,000 acres.

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