Nov 29 2016
06:38 am

Fires all around Gatlinburg. A fire is threatening the Ripley Aquarium and the Park Vista Hotel. It is being reported that 30 structures (now 100 +) are burned. Gatlinburg has been evacuated and there are evacuations in Pigeon Forge as well.

There has been a report that a good portion of Chalet Village is gone, a lot of the buildings on Reagan Rd which runs parallel to the left of Airport Rd have burned. Much of what was built on the Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is gone. Much of what was along River Road has burned....

We'll have to wait for confirmations on these reports.

WBIR reports "Inferno forces evacuations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

WBIR reports "Flames surround Ripley Aquarium

WBIR Reports "Fire threatens beloved Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts." "All Arrowmont personnel are safe. When I [Bill May, executive director] left campus the fire was approaching from the hillside above campus. Two of our dorms are gone and Red Barn was surrounded by fire."

WVLT has a video of evacuees driving through the fire to escape. Very scary.

R. Neal's picture

TEMA reporting that Ober

TEMA reporting that Ober Gatlinburg, Westgate Resorts, Black Bear Falls resort all destroyed.

R. Neal's picture

All GSMNP facilities closed.

All GSMNP facilities closed. Park HQ has lost power and phones. All roads into the park and the Gatlinburg area closed. Officials are asking people to stay away unless you are trained fire/rescue or Red Cross worker. Also asking people in the area to stay off cellphones unless it's an emergency. TEMA has declared a no-fly zone in the area.

R. Neal's picture

Eyewitness reports

Eyewitness reports (unconfirmed) of many/most Ski Mountain/Chalet Village cabins/homes destroyed.

R. Neal's picture

Ober Gatlinburg says their

Ober Gatlinburg says their property is OK, TEMA report incorrect.


R. Neal's picture

Text REDCROSS to 90999 to

Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.

Andy Axel's picture

Better yet:


Representatives of the Blount County Sheriff’s Office are spearheading a donation drive to assist the victims of the Gatlinburg fire. Beginning Wednesday, November 30th through Friday, December 2nd citizens may drop off donations of bottled water, non-perishable food items, blankets, baby items, clothing items, stuffed animals and toys. The donation station will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the front parking lot of the Blount County Justice Center. They will take the truckload of donated items to Gatlinburg Friday evening.

Let’s show our volunteer spirit and provide love and assistance to our Sevier County neighbors! Please share!

American Red Cross is OK and all, but BCSO's donations are more likely to reach people in need.

R. Neal's picture

True. Thanks.

True. Thanks.

R. Neal's picture

Verizon has dispatched team

Verizon has dispatched team from out of area to erect emergency cell tower to assist first responders.

Mello's picture

Tower (S)

COWS Cells On Wheels. VZ not the only one responding but really, those fiber lines that burned are going to take longer to repair.

Up Goose Creek's picture


Is the Blount county/ townsend part of the park closed?

Up Goose Creek's picture

Townsend part II

Just talked to the visitor's center, that part of the park is closed due to fallen trees.

R. Neal's picture

Also, Friends of the

Also, Friends of the Smokies:

100% of your donations today can be designated towards emergency fire relief in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This will help reduce the impact of overtime staff fighting the fires on the ground, supplement federal resources already being used, and help aid in recovery of any park structures or facilities damaged by the fires.


Andy Axel's picture

Community Foundation of Middle TN has a donation page

Vicious fires have swept through the Smoky Mountains, displacing thousands of our neighbors and leaving many jobless and homeless. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, no stranger to emergency response, has created the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville Emergency Response Fund to support the affected communities and nonprofits that are helping victims address their ongoing needs. Grants from the Fund will be made to nonprofits providing assistance both immediate and long term.


(Four star rating by Charity Navigator.)

Andy Axel's picture

More info from VisitKnoxville

List of charity drives, collections, and special hotel rates for displaced persons:


R. Neal's picture

KNS aerial

KNS aerial photos: (link...)

Other KNS photos: (link...)

Midori Barstow's picture

UT has organized a donation drop-off

The university has organized a donation drop-off to help victims and first responders.

Donation Drop-Off
The Center for Leadership and Service, 2238 Dunford Hall, and the Office of the Dean of Students, 413 Student Services Building, are collecting snacks, bottled water, and toiletries at their offices to donate to the American Red Cross. Call 865-974-1039 for more information.

Financial Support
All monetary donations are being directed to the American Red Cross.

If you know of a student who was affected or displaced by the fires, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students for assistance at 865-974-3179 or dos@utk.edu.

R. Neal's picture

You know, I hate to bring

You know, I hate to bring politics into it, but.

Gov. Haslam said in an afternoon press briefing that he had been in contact with president-elect Trump and vice-president-elect Pence and they pledged their full support for the region.

So wrong on so many levels.

Andy Axel's picture

"My Pet Goat"

What Haslam was doing around 8 p.m. ET last night:

It was a "tree-lighting" ceremony. The irony is a bit much.

Min's picture

And he failed to mention...

...that the actual sitting president called, gave his condolences and promises of support, and sent FEMA.

LEMAY's picture

Sevier county

voted overwhelmingly for Trump, who is a climate denier and also ran on deporting illegals.

Greg Johnson just wrote an article on how they will pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but will there also be a change of heart and mind on climate change and kicking out the very people who will 'rebuild' all those new homes? What about health insurance for those who lost everything? I hope and pray there is a change in heart and mind, because if anything should do it, this surely would, but I've lived here long enough to know there more than likely will not.

R. Neal's picture

Dolly to give $1000 per month

Dolly to give $1000 per month for six months to every family who lost their home in the fire...


bizgrrl's picture

Jim Haslam's Pilot Flying J,

Jim Haslam's Pilot Flying J, "Staff can wear jeans to work in exchange for a minimum donation of $2 which the company will match."


This really rubs me the wrong way. Haslam can afford to purchase an NFL team. Many (most ?) of his employees make low wages. To contribute to the Gatlinburg disaster, he's allowing jeans at work for $2? What if the employee already donated elsewhere? Will it look bad on his/her employee record?

Then there is governor Haslam who can't bring himself to mention Obama when talking about national efforts to help in Gatlinburg. Might make Trump mad?

Somebody's picture

In the clip I saw earlier

In the clip I saw earlier today, Gov. Haslam did indeed mention a call from President Obama.

bizgrrl's picture

Wonderful, it's great he can

Wonderful, it's great he can acknowledge Obama's concern.

R. Neal's picture

He finally figured out who

He finally figured out who can write a check right now.

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