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Mandatory evacuation underway in downtown Gatlinburg due to fires

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A mandatory evacuation is underway right now in downtown Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg police had been going door to door in one neighborhood asking for voluntary evacuations.

But the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that as the wind picked up and fallen trees sparked fires from downed lines, Gatlinburg fire officials declared a mandatory evacuation of a larger area.

In Gatlinburg, other areas under a mandatory evacuation include Mynatt Park Neighborhood, East Foothills Road, Turkey Nest Road and Davenport Road areas. The Savage Gardens areas also are under mandatory evacuation.

Some park employees were also evacuating and some locations closed.

Video from the Park Vista Hotel showed flames roaring outside windows and the sounds of fire alarms could be heard.

A news release from the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce said the National Park Service reported more fire growth expected in the park with spot fires possibly forming outside the main area.

UPDATE

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Officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park issued an air quality advisory Monday. Fires are now in the Pittman Center, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg areas.

Some areas of Pigeon Forge are also being asked to evacuate, from the light you turn to go to Dollywood up to Gatlinburg.

WVLT reports that The National Guard has been mobilized to Sevier County.

Currently 80 people are working to fight the Gatlinburg fire. More crews are expected to arrive late Monday or early Tuesday.