For days, the Great Smokey Mountains have been on fire, and at least 3 deaths have been confirmed. The fires continue to destroy hundreds of homes and risk countless more lives in East Tennessee:
Flames tore through the Great Smoky Mountains, killing at least three people, scorching hundreds of homes and businesses and sending more than 14,000 fleeing from the resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Tourists and residents scrambled Monday night and early Tuesday to outrun the blaze, which was pushed from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into the towns by wind gusts of almost 90 mph. Drivers navigating narrow mountain roads shot video footage showing flames swooping in from the shoulders of the roadway at the height of the evacuation.
Wildfires have ravaged the Southeast throughout the month, and the acrid haze of smoke has settled in across the region. But emergency responders seemed blindsided by the intensity of the wind-whipped flames Monday night.
A Gatlinburg fire official said more than 20 fire calls came within 15 minutes at the peak of the chaos.
— BackRoomKno✘ (@backroomknox) November 29, 2016
Gaitlinburg is a high risk zone, and videos of the fire have spread on social media. The fire is now approaching the Dollywood theme park, and they need our prayers that the park remains safe!
Employees are doing all they can to help protect the property. Guests at Parton’s DreamMore Resort and her Smoky Mountain Cabins have been evacuated, but it’s not looking good for Dolly Parton.
Authorities have been quiet about details concerning the source of the fire, but the people of Tennessee need our prayers now:
Authorities have said very little about the Sevier County fire’s cause thus far. They have simply said that its origins are human-caused. That comment was attributed to National Park Service spokeswoman Dana Soehn, who did not provide further details, said KTLA, adding that the cause is under investigation.
However, that could mean that the fire was caused accidentally by human negligence versus a purposeful arson fire. The blaze has killed three people, destroyed resorts, homes, and businesses, and led to general devastation as it rips through the tourist gateway to the Smoke Mountains.
Dolly Parton is loved by millions of country fans around the world, and her talents are unmatched. With more than 50 years in the music industry, she has had a long-list of chart topping hits. And now, her property is in danger.
Let us pray for Dolly Parton:
Dolly Parton has done fire-safety ads for the National Forest Service before: