Dolly Parton Shares Statement About Wildfire Near Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge

(Left) Dolly Parton's Imagination Library / YouTube / (Right) NewsChannel 5 / YouTube

Dolly Parton is asking fans to pray for her “home area” in Tennessee as it’s being ravaged by a wildfire. The fire started on Wednesday (March 30) and grew from there.

According to a report from The Weather Channel published Thursday evening (March 31), the wildfire is now 30% contained. The fire had only been 5% contained that morning.

The Weather Channel described the destruction the fire has caused so far, reporting, “The flames had scorched nearly 6 square miles of land and burned more than 100 structures and five firefighting vehicles.

According to The Weather Channel, around 11,000 homes were placed under mandatory evacuation orders in the area.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters spoke about the wildfire during a press conference on Thursday morning. Waters said there had been no known fatalities as of that time.

The fire broke out near the tourist towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, which are nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are known for their attractions such as Ober Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, The Island in Pigeon Forge, and the Dollywood theme park.

Parton grew up in Sevier County, which is where Dollywood and its associated waterpark are located (in Pigeon Forge). So Parton has been closely following the news about the fire that is tearing through her “home area.”

On Thursday, Parton released a statement about the wildfire. She said:

I’ve been keeping up with everything going on with the fires near my home area. It looks scary on TV, but I’m proud of how everyone in the area has pulled together like they always do. I’m especially proud of the brave men and women who are working to contain the fire. I know there are some folks who have been affected, and I hope that you will join me in saying a prayer for them.”

Parton also shared an update on Dollywood:

During this time, I’ve also remained in touch with my people at Dollywood who have assured me everything is okay there.”

Dollywood shared some information about how you can help those affected by the fire. Monetary donations can be made to Mountain Tough, which is the same fund that provided aide to those affected by fires in the area in 2016.

You can make a donation in person, through the mail, or over the phone. Visit the Mountain Tough website to learn more.

If you live in or near the area, Dollywood also listed items you can donate at the Sevier County Fairgrounds. These items include non-perishable food, water, baby items, and new clothes.

You can see a full list of needed items in the Tweet below.

We too, join Parton in praying for the people who have been affected by this fire. We’re also praying for the firefighters who are risking their lives to contain the blaze.

Watch a news report about the wildfire below.

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