More than 14,000 people have been forced to evacuate the Smoky Mountain towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge as the Tennessee wildfires spread, officials said Tuesday.
Hundreds of buildings have been damaged and destroyed by the blaze, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).
Via the Daily Mail:
Preliminary surveys indicate that Westgate Resorts with more than 100 buildings and Ober Gatlinburg are both likely destroyed, as well as a 16-story hotel. In addition, Black Bear Falls was believed to have lost every cabin.
TEMA said schools in Green, McMinn and Sevier counties will be closed Tuesday, and more than 12,000 people in Sevier County were without power as of early Tuesday morning.
Storms approaching the the nearly 28,000-acre Rough Ridge Fire in north Georgia and the nearly 25,000-acre Rock Mountain Fire burning on both sides of the Georgia-North Carolina line have signaled some hope for firefighters who are trying to put the blaze out Tuesday.
CBS News aired a dramatic cell phone video of a driver’s escape through the hellish Tennessee wildfire. Michael Luciano filmed his terrifying evacuation from the Smoky Mountains late Monday night.
“Everything is burning around us. Every cabin — everything,” Luciano says as he powers through the smoke and flames.
Next page: Video shows tourists trapped inside a hotel in Gatlinburg as flames burned just outside.