UPDATE: Death Toll in Smoky Mountains Wildfire Rises to 11; Scores Missing; Gatlinburg Nearly Burned to the Ground

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Great Smoky Mountains is living up to its name as clouds of devastating smoke have hung over the resort town of Gatlinburg, adjacent to the mountain range, which has burned nearly to the ground in a freak wildfire that left eleven dead and scores missing.

The late season firestorm, that from all accounts is likely to be human-caused and not lightening strikes, has displaced nearly 14,000 residents, decimated neighborhoods, burned through 15,000 acres and destroyed nearly 700 homes and businesses most of them in the town of Gatlinburg.

Raw footage from many escaping residents show the intensity of the flames on both sides of the road and winds fanning the flames and whipping the embers into fires bombs slamming into the wind shield of the truck.

Winds in excess of 90mhp are being blamed for the Monday's initial blaze that marched 10 miles up the mountain in less than 15minutes, and into Gatlinburg, from where the wind deposited the ember that it carried from a mountain top fire.

Gatlinburg, is a resort heavy tourist town and The Great Smoky Mountains, one of the most visited National Parks in the U.S, was consumed. Dollywood, the theme park owned and operated by Country music star, Dolly Parton was spared and will reopen later in the week.

Tourists, residents, and newlyweds, who had hours before stood in blissful joy, watched, with terror, hypnotized, as the flames in the distance burned, almost majestically, without concern as wild raging consuming wildfires aren't common in this area of the state.

The Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Spa, went from Mountain hideaway to the "the Gates of Hell" in a matter of hours as residents and guests of the Gatlinburg Tenn. property were forced to evacuate all buildings.

Residents were awakened as fire officials moved door to door, Monday night, as the fire raged. People are fleeing with only the clothes on their backs, looking back to see the flames consume their homes.

As common as wildfires are in the Western United States, the Eastern Smoky Mountains have seen little wildfire activity. The quick spreading fire destroyed nearly everything in its path as it moved down the mountain.

The blustery nights have created an even bigger problem of containment as the winds carry the tiny embers to dry patches and a new fire starts. By Wednesday 19 fires, across six states all within the Great Smoky Mountain U.S. National Park had started from the original single fire Monday night. 

Image from www.visitmysmokies.com and used with permission.

This is a developing story.

Haute Tease

  • I Can Only Imagine Review - Inspiring, Ensemble Cast Shines in this Character Driven Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I Can Only Imagine, from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, presents the heartfelt and uplifting story of a song from up and coming Christian band, Mercy Me, that exploded across all charts making it the most played in history.

     
  • Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Review - Exudes the Spirit of Scottsdale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, a Starwood Hotel jewel in the beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona desert, exudes the spirit of a bygone era and the modernism of a luxury community with breathtaking views, spectacular attractions and rejuvenating ambiance.

     
  • Four Seasons to Debut First-Ever Private Residences in Los Angeles at Gateway to Beverly Hills

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Four Seasons Private Residences Los Angeles, located at 9000 W. 3rd Street, is the company's first standalone residential project in North America and joins London's Twenty Grosvenor Square as one of only two worldwide.

     
  • Anatomy Of A Great Home Book Review - Beautiful, Practical and Informative

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Anatomy of a Great Home, from Schiffer Publishing and author/expert Boyce Thompson, presents more than fifty award winning homes, built by three dozen A+ American architects and defines the technical characteristics of what makes a home great.

     
  • Celebrity Interview: The Real Dish on Bravo’s First Real Housewife Alex McCord

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    For Alex McCord and her hotelier husband Simon van Kempen, the roles of reality TV stars on Bravo's hit series, "The Real Housewives of New York" is not something they ever expected and initially turned down.

     
  • Pop Up Picnic San Diego Review - Date Night Done Right

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    If you're looking to up the ante on date night romance or turn an ordinary date into an extraordinary and memorable one, look no further than Pop Up Picnic. This company creates turnkey, one-of-a-kind experiences that are as elegant and imaginative as they are convenient and affordable.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump’s First 100 Days; France Elections; Marine Le Pen, Tennessee Teacher; LA Riots at 25

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump marked his first 100 days in office this week, a milestone that is met with ranks and ratings as the former business leader continues to struggle with Hillary backlash and persistent and alleged election fraud.

     
  • SuperTooth Crystal – A Bluetooth Speakerphone

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    SuperTooth, the leading manufacturer of hands-free car kits and portable accessories worldwide, launched Crystal today, the newest introduction to SuperTooth’s industry-leading line of Bluetooth speakerphones.

     
  • Bound By Flesh Review – Surprisingly Engaging

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Bound by Flesh,"  from Mistress, Inc. and Sundance Selects re-introduces the freak show stars, Daisy and Violet Hilton, with this fascinating, intriguing and absorbing historical account of the lives, loves and career of the conjoined Siamese twins.

     
  • Interview: Kevin Roundtree, Mr. Mom, Business Manager, Dad

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Actress and baby model, Kaleah Roundtree is making waves as she and her business manager father Kevin, an African American Mr. Mom, and Dad, begin a new push in the talented toddlers' career.

     
  • Celebrity Interview: Finn Wittrock talks on Landline, His Creative Pursuit Bucket List, and Memorable Moments

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Finn Wittrock, who plays Nate the alluring former high school sweetheart and seducer of Dana, in the upcoming film Landline, starring John Turturro, Edie Falco, Jenny Slate and Abby Quinn, who is going through a commitment crisis.

     
  • Danielle Jones, Comatose Craigslist Beating Victim, Wakes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Danielle Jones, the Miami female beaten nearly to death and into a coma by a roommate she had found on Craigslist one week after he moved in, has finally woken 24 days after the Valentine's Day attack.

 

Login Form