As some parts of the south are getting reprieve from the drought like the state of Mississippi, reports of the raging fires in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina are still of major concern because of their magnitude and severity.
The drought has impacted the deep south for the past six months and the Great Smoky Mountains located along the Tennessee and North Carolina border are being hit hard by the fires that have sparked out of this.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed all facilities in the park due to the extensive fire activity, and downed trees. pic.twitter.com/uZ2nLEOQrx
— GreatSmokyNPS (@GreatSmokyNPS) November 29, 2016
Associated Press reported that the uncontrollable wild fires have caused an undisclosed number of people to flee, estimates coming in, in the thousands and raged in front of the doorsteps of Dollywood national theme park, homes and has taken down a 16 story hotel.
The infamous theme park which is outside of the city where the fires are burning, leaves the tourist site closed for an undisclosed time period.
Due to area wildfires, we have suspended park operation for Wed., Nov. 30 and lodging is open on a limited basis. https://t.co/DuVshyGE73
— Dollywood (@Dollywood) November 29, 2016
Earlier this week, the National Guard arrived to help local firefighters find ways to get the fires under control which increased due to the high winds on Monday that blew trees onto power lines, officials said at a news conference covering Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge, another Tennessee city that has been evacuated due to the fires is in dire need of help and for the fires to stop.
Troopers walked into areas of Gatlinburg, Tn that were surrounded by fire to remove those who were trapped by flames. pic.twitter.com/9r2lkAVy19
— TN Highway Patrol (@TNHighwayPatrol) November 29, 2016
The city’s Fire Chief, Greg Miller, said on Tuesday: “If you’re a person of prayer, we could use your prayers.”
“There were times last night that we had wind gusts in excess of 87 miles an hour. That is hurricane force. That is nowhere to be when trying to fight a fire,” he stated about Monday’s weather.
In the small city of Gatlinburg, it is estimated that 14,000 people have been forced to evacuate.
One social media share by Chris Owenby, visual depicts what the fires look like as they rage through the Spur, the parkway between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
As of now the current status of the city is leaving people in the community including tourists in a state of shock. An unidentified woman filming a video and posted it to YouTube, asked people to stay at home and for prayer.
This other video recently posted is providing background information about the thick ash and the difficulty she is having while trying to breath.
Currently the Red Cross of East Tennessee is looking for donations to help people in the community.
— WTVC NewsChannel 9 (@newschannelnine) November 29, 2016
As of now, Associated Press has reported 3 deaths due to the wildfires in Tennessee.
BREAKING: Tennessee mayor confirms 3 deaths in wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes, businesses.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 29, 2016