The National Park Service said Tuesday night the fires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Gatlinburg area have burned an estimated 15,000 acres so far.
Firefighters continue to work around the clock to gain control of the fires, which officials confirm has claimed three lives. Emergency workers will be going door to door to check for damage and loss of life until every structure is checked. It’s a process that could take days or even weeks.
Gov. Bill Haslam said the blaze, which spread rapidly Monday afternoon, was the state’s largest in the last 100 years. About 100 pieces of fire equipment are on hand, as well as some 400 personnel are working to put out the fires.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday that “very preliminary surveys of damaged areas” suggested that “hundreds of structures are lost.”
–Header Image: Chris Higgins Photography