GATLINBURG, TN (KTVI)- On Sunday, just one day before several raging wild fires came together to destroy hundreds of homes and businesses in Sevier County, Tennessee, country music superstar Dolly Parton tried to help keep just such a disaster from happening. Great Smoky Mountains National Park shared a video on social meida of Parton and Smoky Bear talking about the dry conditions in the Smoky Mountains and how residents and visitors should be extra cautious with things like campfires and tire chains, and should avoid burning any fallen leaves.
By Monday, the Park’s Twitter and Facebook feeds were full of wildfire updates.
There has been no official cause given for the wildfires. Wind gusts of over 80 mph and drought conditions led to the rapid spread of flames in the area. Mandatory evacuations for Mynatt Park, Park Vista, Ski Mountain, the city of Gatlinburg, and portions of Pigeon Forge were ordered on Monday.
More than 150 homes were destroyed by flames. Three people have been confirmed dead.
Much needed rain fell in the Gatlinburg area overnight Monday into Tuesday and that significantly helped fire crews get the fires under control. More rain is expected Wednesday morning.