GATLINBURG, Tenn. — More than 1,200 people are in shelters after the mandatory evacuations of Gatlinburg and parts of Pigeon Forge due to fast moving wildfires.
A total of 14,000 have been evacuated.
A spokesperson for TEMA told WTVF-TV parts of Gatlinburg are ‘destroyed’ and it is ‘completely devastating.’
At least 75-100 homes in the Cobbly Knob area of Gatlinburg have been destroyed.
As many as 30 buildings have burned in Gatlinburg.
At least 14 fires have been burning in and around Gatlinburg.
“If you’re a person of prayer, we could use your prayers,” said Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said Monday evening as crews battled wind gusts of up to 70 mph.
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Monday afternoon, a wildfire from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park spread rapidly into communities around it. By early Tuesday, emergency officials said about 100 homes were affected by the blaze.
Flames blew into Gatlinburg, scorching at least 30 buildings in the city, including a 16-story hotel and an apartment complex.
The fire was also near the edge of Dollywood, the theme park owned by Dolly Parton in Pigeon Forge.
At last report, the park is fine though cabins owned by the company may have been affected.
WREG’s Kristen Holloway is headed to Gatlinburg to bring us coverage on WREG.
More than 10,000 animals in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies are on their own after employees were forced to leave when flames got too close to the building.
Aquarium manager Ryan DeSear said the animals can survive 24 hours once the power goes out, assuming no major systems are affected.
There were no deaths reported, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. But a male evacuee reportedly suffered burn wounds and an accident involving a fire truck may have also caused minor injuries, the agency said.
Authorities issued evacuations from Gatlinburg and nearby areas, including the north end of Pigeon Forge: “Nobody is allowed into the city at this time. If you are currently in Gatlinburg and are able to evacuate … evacuate immediately.”
There may be some good news, rain moved in last night and should continue Tuesday.
CNN contributed to this report.
— RT (@RT_com) November 29, 2016