Update on the Gatlinburg fire plus National Guard aerial survey video

GATLINBURG, Tennessee (WDEF) – Developments on the Gatlinburg fire & new video

Tennessee mayor says authorities have recovered 3 more bodies after wildfires, bringing death toll to 7

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee mayor says authorities have recovered 3 more bodies after wildfires, bringing death toll to 7.

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video shot Tuesday by Tennessee National Guard shows chopper and vehicle inspections of Galinburg fire
shot by Staff Sgt. William Jones

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3:10 p.m.

The mayor of Gatlinburg says officials are discussing re-opening the city later this week after wildfires forced the evacuation of thousands of residents and tourists.

Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said Wednesday that the resort mountain city may re-open Friday so business owners can assess the damage and hopefully begin paying their employees again.

He says the evacuation orders must remain in place until then because there are still areas that haven’t been searched and places where power lines are down.

The wildfires killed four people and injured dozens more.

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11:15 a.m.

A Tennessee mayor is confirming another fatality in the wildfires that swept through the Great Smoky Mountains, raising the death toll to four.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters also said Wednesday that nearly four dozen people had been injured in the fires.

The wildfires destroyed more than 150 buildings. Heavy rain fell early Wednesday, which is helping put out some of the wildfires, but officials say more than 200 firefighters are still out battling flames and hotspots.

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10 a.m.

Rain is moving through a Tennessee tourism region ravaged by wildfires, but officials say there are still active fires in the area.

Tod Hyslop, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Morristown, Tennessee, says the Gatlinburg area got about ¾ of an inch to 1 inch of rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

He says rain will pick up midday Wednesday through the afternoon and taper off about 4 or 5 p.m. The system is moving slowly, which increases the chances of more rain.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said any rain will help, but the fires are still an “ongoing situation.”

Categories: Regional News

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