UPDATE: Another death confirmed in Tennessee wildfires - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Another death confirmed in Tennessee wildfires

Posted: Updated:

   11:15 a.m.
   A Tennessee mayor is confirming another fatality in the wildfires that swept through the Great Smoky Mountains, raising the death toll to four.
   Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters also said Wednesday that nearly four dozen people had been injured in the fires.
   The wildfires destroyed more than 150 buildings. Heavy rain fell early Wednesday, which is helping put out some of the wildfires, but officials say more than 200 firefighters are still out battling flames and hotspots.
   10 a.m.
   Rain is moving through a Tennessee tourism region ravaged by wildfires, but officials say there are still active fires in the area.
   Tod Hyslop, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Morristown, Tennessee, says the Gatlinburg area got about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch of rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.
   He says rain will pick up midday Wednesday through the afternoon and taper off about 4 or 5 p.m. The system is moving slowly, which increases the chances of more rain.
   Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said any rain will help, but the fires are still an "ongoing situation."
   2 a.m.
   A Tennessee tourist mecca is emerging from the smoke, charred and vacant.
   During wildfires Monday night, many buildings in Gatlinburg were burned to their foundation. Hotel fire alarms eerily echoed through empty streets lined with burned out cars Tuesday evening.
   Three people were killed. The fire destroyed at least 150 buildings, including iconic homes and a resort. Other buildings and attractions remained largely intact, including the Dollywood amusement park in nearby Pigeon Forge.
   Wildfires have been burning for several weeks across the drought-stricken South. But Monday marked the first time homes and businesses were destroyed on a large scale.
   Gatlinburg, a city that opens up to 11 million visitors annually, is facing a new reality. But Mayor Mike Werner, who lost his home, says his town will pull together and recover.


GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- A Tennessee mayor says three people have died in the wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses near the Great Smoky Mountains. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters says he doesn't have any details on the deaths.

The mayor says authorities are going door-to-door to make sure everyone is safe. About a dozen people have been injured. Gatlinburg's mayor says they firefighters are still battling hotspots and there will be a curfew in effect tonight.

More than 14,000 residents and tourists were forced to evacuate the tourist city in the mountains.


GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WKOW) -- Wildfires are burning for miles in Tennessee, forcing thousands out of their homes.

A fire is spreading around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Our Knoxville affiliate WATE reports this fire actually started in Smoky Mountain National Park.

As of about midnight Tuesday, there were 30 structures on fire in the Gatlinburg area. Many areas are under mandatory evacuation, and now the National Guard is coming in.

The flames are only getting closer to some people's homes. “We're just cautious and ready to go,” said one resident. “If these fires come across the middle creek, come across this one hill right here, then they're right on us."

The fire is in a resort area. Smoky Mountain National Park is a big draw, as is Dolly Parton's Dollywood. That's been evacuated too. As of Tuesday morning, Dollywood officials say the park hasn't been touched by the flames yet.

Shelters are opening and the Red Cross is there doing what it can while firefighters try to put out the flames.

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