Gray Sky Event: Sevier County, TN Wildfires

A wildfire near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Sevier County, TN, grew rapidly and threatened hundreds of homes when it sparked Wednesday, March 30, due to strong winds and low humidity levels. During the last couple of days, over 11,000 homes were evacuated as firefighters worked diligently to contain the spread of two different fires–the Hatcher Mountain/Indigo Lane fire and the Millstone Gap/Dupont fire. As of this blog publication, nearly 2,500 acres have burned in the Hatcher fire, including a significant impact to more than 300 structures.

Collecting aerial imagery for a wildfire presents multiple challenges, the largest being the disaster is still occurring while our Gray Sky team attempts to find clear skies to fly. Smoke can be a cover that prevents clear captures and an incoming storm front complicated matters. But our experienced pilots, along with our operations partner Vexcel, know how to manage the often small windows of opportunity to collect aerial imagery for our insurer members.

Below is a small glimpse into the damage inflicted on this community, including before/after images for comparison. This high-resolution ortho imagery is now available in GIC platforms.