Recovery starts as rains help put out Tennessee wildfires

Recovery starts as rains help put out Tennessee wildfires

According to WATE-TV, ATF has officials investigating who is responsible for the fire that killed 10.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters says Wednesday officials believe more than 400 buildings have been damaged in the county. At press time, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $8,000, while the YouCaring page has raised more than $36,000.

At least 45 people have suffered fire-related injuries, three serious enough to be sent to the burn unit at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

Authorities set up a hotline for people to report missing friends and relatives, and after following up on dozens of leads, they said many of those people had been accounted for. "Most people are numb, but they care about finding these people".

"If people want to help, we've got everything we need right now", Lewis said.

"We're going to be OK", Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said Wednesday, even after his own house was destroyed. More than 200 homes and businesses have been destroyed or damaged and most Gatlinburg residents remain under a mandatory evacuation order.

All roads in the country, including areas devastated by the fire, will be open to property owners tomorrow, officials said. Officials suspect nearly half of them are arson.

"We'll get folks in their homes as soon as possible", Gatlinburg Police Chief Randy Brackins said.

But almost all of the estimated 500 people forced from their homes in the nearby town of Pigeon Forge were allowed to return, according to fire department spokeswoman Trish McGee.

While the rains helped, the prolonged drought from the past few months means conditions are still drier than normal and officials said there is still a risk of rekindling from hot spots that might still be smoldering beneath the surface.

"Gatlinburg is the people", he said.

The statue was discovered in Sevier County, Tenn., the same county where a Bible passage was located under a park bench at the Dollywood amusement park.

Her son Lyle Wood said his mother and brother lived in a home at Chalet Village in Gatlinburg and she frantically called his brother Monday night because the house had caught fire. About 10,000 acres, or (15 square miles) have burned inside the park and about 6,000 outside of the country's most visited national park.

Twenty percent are fighting the fires and the remainder are searching.

Investigators have determined the so-called Chimney Tops 2 fire, which laid waste to whole neighborhoods in the resort town of Gatlinburg earlier this week, was caused by unspecified human activity, officials said.

In the meantime, teams from other National Parks have mobilized here to bring additional equipment and expertise to the efforts to control the fires. Three of their dogs and three of their cats made it with them; they don't know where four other cats are.

"We're no longer cities and counties. We're one entity", Waters said. He told her to get out but then the connection was lost - and the family didn't learn her fate until Wednesday.