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Evacuations issued for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge due to wildfires

Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller says Downtown Gatlinburg is being evacuated due to wildfires in the area. (Image: WATE)

UPDATE (WBIR, 9 p.m.)

Wildfires driven by wind gusts are prompting the evacuations of multiple areas of Gatlinburg including downtown Gatlinburg, fire officials said Monday night.

Some areas of Pigeon Forge also are being evacuated including residents and guests located in the areas between traffic light 8 and the Spur, according to spokeswoman Trish McGee.

National Park Service and Gatlinburg officials stressed the fire posed a serious threat that would not abate until rains came.

"We urge the public to pray. We urge the public to stay off the highways. The traffic that is on the roads is emergency equipment. If (the public) could just stay home and stay tuned to their local media outlet," Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said at a 8:30 p.m. press conference.

In Gatlinburg, other areas under a mandatory evacuation include Mynatt Park Neighborhood, East Foothills Road, Turkey Nest Road and Davenport Road areas. The Savage Gardens areas also is under mandatory evacuation.

Police are going to the area to get people out. City officials urged everyone to get out.

Fire officials decided about 6 p.m. to impose the evacuation, according to Gatlinburg City Manager City Ogle.

To help with Pigeon Force evacuations, three county school buses were available for emergency transport and were being dispatched as needed to transport those who need to evacuate, according to a release.

The following locations are open and ready to receive those who need shelter: LeConte Center at Pigeon ForgePigeon Forge Community CenterLiberty Baptist Church in Wears Valley Iglesia Cristiana LaDuz De Jesus.

Also open for evacuations: The First Redbank Baptist Church in Sevierville.

Sevier County Schools, Greene County Schools and Cocke County Schools and Newport Grammar School are closed Tuesday due to the fires.

Great Smoky Mountains Park Superintendent Cassius Cash said the fires posed a "very serious situation."

Authorities could not provide an estimate on the total acreage that was burning.

Authorities are hoping that rain expected Monday night will ultimately douse the spreading wildfires.

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Wildfires driven by wind gusts are prompting the evacuations of multiple areas of Gatlinburg including downtown Gatlinburg, fire officials said Monday night.

"We urge the public to pray. We urge the public to stay off the highways. The traffic that is on the roads is emergency equipment. If (the public) could just stay home and stay tuned to their local media outlet," Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said at a 8:30 p.m. press conference.

Other areas under a mandatory evacuation include Mynatt Park Neighborhood, East Foothills Road, Turkey Nest Road and Davenport Road areas. The Savage Gardens areas also is under mandatory evacuation.

Police are going to the area to get people out. City officials urged everyone to get out.

Fire officials decided about 6 p.m. to impose the evacuation, according to Gatlinburg City Manager City Ogle.

A Facebook live video shows the view from inside Park Vista Hotel:


Miller said a house can be replaced if necessary.

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