The following is an update from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency as of this morning:
State agencies and local officials evacuated likely thousands residents and visitors from Sevier County last night due to devastating wildfires in-and-around the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It is very likely 14,000+ residents and visitors evacuated from Gatlinburg alone.
The Chimney Top Fire, which began in the Great Smoky Mountains, spread very rapidly yesterday evening as high winds pushed flames onto private property.
Even with the rain that is currently falling there, the fires continue to burn and structures remain engulfed with little hope that the rainfall will bring immediate relief.
A temporary flight restriction is in place to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.
Numerous roads remain closed and blocked by fallen trees and power lines. State Hwy. 441 heading into Gatlinburg is closed, except for emergency traffic. State Hwy. 441 leaving Gatlinburg is open to evacuating traffic.
Additionally, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has liaison officers in Sevier County and has activated the East Tennessee Regional Coordination Center to facilitate resource requests and mission assignments.
FATALITIES and INJURIES
Three persons with severe burns were transferred form University of Tennessee’s Knoxville (UTK) hospital to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville overnight. A fourth with burns to their face continues to be evaluated at UTK. Currently, there are no reports of fatalities.
Sevier County reports 11,595 people without power.
At a peak, an estimated 1,300 people occupied six Red Cross or independently-operated shelters. The latest estimate is 1,100 people in four shelters.
Showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m., Eastern, today with winds 5 to 15 mph, and gusts to 20 mph. High near 69. Precipitation chance 80 percent.
Tonight, a chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 10 p.m., Eastern. Mostly cloudy with a low around 59. Breezy, with a south wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.
TEMA is asking residents in Sevier County to stay off mobile devices unless it is for emergency calls to prevent taxing the mobile system.
WBIR has published some information on how you can help fire evacuees – please click here.
TetonHikingTrails.com The Smoky Mountain Hiker is the author of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog and the online trail guide, HikingintheSmokys.com
Raw - US-South Korean Live-Fire Exercises and North Korea Updates
With All Eyes on the War This Wikileaks Bombshell Is Purposefully Ignored! Major Distraction!!!
Totalitarian Left Celebrates Their ‘Pyrrhic Victory’ (Video)
The YouTube Monopsony
Red Alert: Power Outages Again! Prelude to a Huge Attack? Widespread Power Outages All Across Los Angeles! (Videos)
North Korea Fires Off Final Warning Plus Exclusive Mr Trump's Interview: Major, Major Conflict (Videos)
Trump to NRA: “8 Yr Assault on 2nd Amendment Is Over” (Video)
Democrats Deliver Massive Knockout Blow to Republicans (Video)
America Is Under Attack by These 187 Groups Funded by George Soros (Video)
Does Your Child Suffer From RAD: Reactive Attachment Disorder (Videos)
Why Does Jared Kushner Look Like He Is Getting Ready To Play The Role Of The Biblical Antichrist?
North Korea Satellite EMP PSYOP to Start WWIII Say Expert - Proof Satellite Location Is Being Manipulated.
Staged ISIS Bombing Video. If This Doesn't Wake You Up, Nothing Will.
Rampaging Wild Boars Kill 3 ISIS Terrorists in Iraq
Russian Military Ship Sinks After Collision
Thug Tries To Rob Store, But He Should Have Looked Over His Shoulder
Hackers Exploited Word Flaw for Months While Microsoft Investigated
Major Leak at Oroville Damn Detected
Pastor Steve Cioccolanti Explains Sheol [Hell] and Seoul from the Israeli Bible
Israel Bombs Road To Damascus..Airport
Whoa! Ghost Spotted by Mayor of Salem, Home of Salem Witch Trials (Video)
Gotta See: Watch Clerk Keep Cool as Thug Points Gun at His Face (Video)
Top Cardiologists: Saturated Fat Not the Cause of Heart Disease
Here’s the Creepy New AI-Enhanced $15k Robot Tons of Lonely Dudes Are Going to Have Sex with Soon
"Jack the Ripper" Was Winston Churchill's Father
The YouTube Monopsony
Critical Developing Situation! China Warns North Korea Is at a Critical Point (Video)
Still Not Sure? They Do Not Want You to See These! The World is Swiftly Being Conditioned: Perilous Times, Fearful Sights (Videos)
Cooler Heads Must Prevail! World Leaders Warn of Crisis - Situation Has Deteriorated! (Video)
Ancient Ruins on Earth - Matteo Ianneo Italian Researcher