Sevier County, TN– 14 wildfires in and around the Smoky Mountain National Park have spread, sparking additional fires, and threatening Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Dollywood in East Tennessee.
News Mississippi spoke with Dan Eidem of the Tennessee Radio Network. He said for more information, you could follow the website for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.
Fox 8 TV in Gatlinburg reported that on top of the fires, trees and limbs were falling across roadways as people attempted to evacuate the area. Evacuation has gone smoothly.
Social media videos offer just a glimpse into the gravity of the situation.
— Everything TN (@Everything_TN) November 29, 2016
Many evacuees had to risk their lives to flee to safety
— The Tennessean (@Tennessean) November 29, 2016
One video, by Michael Luciano on Facebook, shows how dangerous the evacuation process has been. (Video may be disturbing or contain strong language)
Dangerous wildfires are still having an impact in Sevier County as local officials ordered evacuations for downtown Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and other parts of the county, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency in a press release.
Fire crews are still battling blazes in Sevier County as a heavy layer of smoke settles in many areas of the county.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday night to secure a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Chimney Top Mountain fire, which caused the wildfire outbreak in Sevier County.
Sevier County officials currently estimate about 100 homes impacted in the county with 10 homes impacted in Gatlinburg from the fire.
Approximately 30 structures have been impacted in Gatlinburg, including a 16-story hotel on Regan Drive and the Driftwood Apartments reported fully-involved near the Park Vista Hotel.
State Hwy. 441 heading into Gatlinburg is closed, except for emergency traffic. State Hwy. 441 leaving Gatlinburg is open to evacuating traffic.
There are no reports of fatalities. There is a report of a report a burn injury to a male evacuee. There is also a report of minor injuries due to a fire truck involved in an accident.
Sevier County reports 12,509 people without power.
A total of 1,200 people have sheltered at the Gatlinburg Community Center and at the Rocky Top Sports Park.