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The fire started on Wednesday evening, the 23rd, by human hand (under investigation), in the Chimney Tops area of the park.
|Wed. Nov. 23 2016|
Many homes burned to the foundation, nothing left standing, in Gatlinburg and surrounding communities. We've heard stories of family members calling loved ones frantically, that the fire was around the house and now the family can't get ahold of them and have no idea if they survived. Fires are still burning even after rain. No one is allowed in yet to their homes. Seven confirmed deaths, 74 injured as of the last update. So many missing. They have 4 search zones they are combing through. There are so many remote homes in the mountains too! In the last update the fire chief said finding the missing is not an easy job as the fires burned so hot there is nothing to find, basically and it will be a forensic search soon, in other words digging for bones. I told you it is horrific!
As of last update just a half hour ago 17,108 acres have burned. 10,000+ in the National Park and 6,000+ in the surrounding area. The fire chief said even though we had a day of good rain it was not enough to penetrate our drought ridden ground and the fires can rekindle easily. There are a couple new ones today. Low humidity and wind today is a real danger.
here, but be warned, the site keeps crashing as the response has been fantastic!
WBIR TV in Knoxville is the station that I have been keeping up with. You can check out videos and This link takes you to a page with a video of a short ride a long with a firefighter as he drives through it. Click on Home on the page to see the latest.
updates and there's even a link at the top to watch live coverage if you'd like.
Here are a few pics of the devastation...
So much wildlife lost too! We need your prays and support. When we rebuild come visit and support the businesses and see our beautiful mountains.
With a heavy heart,
*Update: 13 confirmed deaths and 80 injured now.