Prayers for Gatlinburg after fire
All of us at Century 21 MVP are so devastated to see our community ravaged this week by a raging fire that quickly swept across 500 acres of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, into Gatlinburg, and down toward Pigeon Forge.
As many of you have heard by now, a fire that started on Chimney Tops was carried by wind to nearby areas on Monday and quickly spread across the National Park. By the end of the day, it had spread so rapidly that it reached Gatlinburg and spread across to Pigeon Forge. The entire city of Gatlinburg was evacuated, as were homes around Wears Valley.
Thankfully, the rain we had been praying so long for arrived late Monday evening, but not soon enough to avoid the evacuation of approximately 14,000 people from Gatlinburg. Tuesday afternoon, it was reported that three people have lost their lives in the fire, and some families are still separated and searching for each other. 100 structures in Cobbly Nob burned and at least 30 buildings in Gatlinburg were destroyed by the fire. We also learned Tuesday morning that 100 buildings at West Gate are gone, as well as cabins in Black Bear Falls. In all, about 150 structures were destroyed by fire in Sevier County. The National Guard was called in to provide aid and evacuation centers were set up for displaced residents. Volunteer firefighters from multiple fire departments are still out battling the blazes to keep them contained while we wait for more rain to come. Police officers have been going door to door to evacuate people. And many lost power as the strong winds – reaching gusts of almost 90 miles per hour at times – pulled down electric poles and power lines that contributed to the spread of the fire.
City officials told local news outlets that half – about five miles of the city of Gatlinburg – was affected by the fire, but not the downtown area.
Firefighters continue to battle fires
By late Tuesday morning, 14 fires were still reported to be burning but firefighters are continuing to do everything they could to contain them while we await more rain. Please keep our communities, our emergency personnel, and all of those directly effected by these fires in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.