Great Smoky Mountains News

Tennessee Community Devastated by Fires Doubtful Climate Change Poses Future Risk

Bob Bentz had just installed underground utility lines and paved a new road when wildfires roared through the eastern Tennessee treetop canopy he wanted to transform into a $30 million adventure park. A year later, after the blaze killed 14 …

Woman Staying in Hotel During Tennessee Wildfires Claims PTSD in Lawsuit

A Tennessee woman who checked in to a hotel as deadly wildfires raged nearby says in a lawsuit that she was terrified she would die in the hotel and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the experience. Holly …

Officials: Failed Communications Hampered Tennessee Wildfire Response

Newly released records show failed communication systems hampered the response to deadly wildfires in Tennessee last fall. Records that Sevier County began to release Wednesday show that wind and fire on Nov. 28 combined to disable cell towers, melt fiber-optic …

Tennesee Mountain Community Getting Back on Its Feet After Devastating Wildfire

“Mountain Tough” was a slogan Mayor Mike Werner of Gatlinburg, Tenn. proclaimed in the aftermath of a Nov. 28 blaze that destroyed or damaged more than 2,400 structures, caused more than $1 billion in damages and killed 14 people. “This …

Prosecutors Unable to Prove Arson Against 2 Youths in Tennessee Wildfires

Prosecutors have dropped arson charges against two juveniles in connection with the Tennessee wildfires that killed 14 people and tore through thousands of homes and businesses in November, a law enforcement official said Friday. In December, District Attorney General Jimmy …

Dolly Parton Fund Aids 921 Tennessee Wildfire Victims

Dolly Parton’s My People Fund has issued monthly checks to 921 people who lost their homes in deadly wildfires that ravaged East Tennessee last year. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Dollywood Foundation President David Dotson said the fund received …

Team Formed to Review How Wildfire Spread to Tennessee Tourist City

Authorities are forming a team to investigate the massive fires that tore through a Tennessee tourist city late last year, killing 14 people. The team will be made up of representatives from the Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the …

Dolly Parton Telethon Raises $9M for Tennessee Wildfire Victims

Dolly Parton says a star-studded telethon for those affected by recent wildfires in her native Tennessee has brought in about $9 million. Parton headlined the event on Dec. 13 that was broadcast on several cable networks and livestreamed online. Parton …

Tennessee Wildfire Damage Estimated at $500M

Deadly wildfires caused more than $500 million in damage as they tore through a tourism community in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and killed 14 people, local officials estimated Tuesday. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters put a dollar …

Dolly Parton Organizing Telethon for Wildfire Victims in Tennessee

Country icon Dolly Parton has organized a musical telethon to raise money for victims of the Tennessee wildfires that destroyed more than 1,700 homes in the resort town of Gatlinburg. The event, which will air Dec. 13 on Great American …