As wildfires rage through East Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, many of the area's residents and guests have been forced to evacuate. In a scene that has been described as chaos, roads in and out of the resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are packed as people flee the fires and smoke blanketing the area.
Workers at Dollywood, the theme park owned by country music star Dolly Parton, were helping firefighters keep flames away from the park. So far, no damage has been reported at the park, although guests staying in rooms at Dolly's DreamMore Resort and Dolly's Smoky Mountain Cabins were evacuated.
On Sunday, the Division of Forestry's website stated that the majority of the wildfires were 100% contained, but Monday brought high winds that only made the situation worse. At least two inches of rain is expected in the area Monday and Tuesday nights, so residents are praying that the precipitation will bring an end to the wildfire devastation surrounding their community.
"If you're a person of prayer, we could use your prayers," Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said during a Monday morning press conference, as reported by CNN.com.
At press time, at least 30 structures in Gatlinburg were burning, including a 16-story hotel and apartments. Park officials said that the fire began November 23 and appears to be the result of arson.
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