Sevier County Fires
By Gavin Curless
Earlier this week, a wave of wildfires surged across Eastern Tennessee. Multiple towns have been almost entirely destroyed by the fire, including Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These two towns were beloved by the population of Tennessee, and will be rebuilt once the fire is entirely put out.
This terrible tragedy has claimed 11 lives so far, with 70 people still missing. 74 people have been treated with injuries. That number could much higher, however, if a powerful rain storm hadn’t swept through the area on Wednesday. Almost 8,500 people lost power from the fires, according to nbcnews.com.
Even though these fires have been merciless, there is still fight in the community. According to nbcnews.com, Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner, one of many victims of the fires to lose his home, described his community as “mountain tough” and that they would not lose hope.
Fire commanders say that almost 700 structures, 300 of them in Gatlinburg, were destroyed in the fires. About 14,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.
Residents of Sevier County are receiving help from the outside world to get them back on their feet. According to nbcnews.com, Dolly Parton, country music superstar, pledged to donate $1,000 a month to help the residents of Sevier County rebuild their community. Dolly Parton was a native of Sevier County, and she also has an amusement park, Dollywood, in the county. The amusement park was not damaged, but the fire came dangerously close.
The residents of Sevier County have been through a monumental trial, but they will bounce back. If you want to support their rebuilding stage and donate to Sevier County, go to http://www.tnhelpinghearts.us/ .