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East Tennessee/Gatlinburg Forest Fires

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This fall season has been indeed been very dry, which caused some unlikely consequences. Hundreds of forest fires have been sparked across the Southeast due to extreme drought and  careless fire precautions. Wildfires have burned in multiple East Tennessee counties as well as through the Smoky Mountains. Locals say that this is the worst wildfire that’s ever been experienced in Gatlinburg history.

The city of Gatlinburg was hit hard with these tragic forest fires. Hundreds of people and animals have suffered beginning on November 28 and lasting through December 2. The fire started growing when high winds spread embers to the Chimney Tops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The fire is said to be man-made and the police department has a few suspected arsonists in custody. Thousands of tourists and residents in the Smoky Mountains had to be evacuated due to the fires. Many have been left without power for days, and some without homes, but many are being provided care and medical attention at local community centers. Fourteen deaths have been confirmed and 130 people have been injured from the Smoky Mountain fires. Luckily, the raging fires have been stopped due to the hard work from firemen and much needed rain that started last Friday. Although much of the forest has suffered, the city of Gatlinburg was essentially left in a stable condition where most shops have been left untouched.

Many have come together to donate supplies to those in need. Donations are still being accepted at the American Family Care, First Tennessee Foundation, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, GoFundMe, and many other foundations. This unfortunate series of events has truly tested the meaning of the “Volunteer State”, and thousands of Tennesseans are coming together as a community to preserve our national park.

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The student news site of Farragut High School
East Tennessee/Gatlinburg Forest Fires