Smoky Mountain wildfire first responders honored ahead of year anniversary

(Fox 17 News)

Hundreds of first responders of the Servier County wildfires were honored on Tuesday, just weeks before the year anniversary.

When the fires broke out in the Smoky Mountain on Nov. 28, 2016 -- calls for help were coming in at 200 per hour.

On that day and the days that followed, more than 300 first responders worked diligently, many around the clock, to help combat the blaze and aid in recovery efforts.

"As most firefighters in the state of Tennessee, we never got to experience anything like, we hope it was just a once in a lifetime event for us, but never seen anything quite like that," Crossville Deputy Fire Chief Chris South said.

In total, 64 fire stations from across Tennessee responded to Sevier County in late November last year.

On Tuesday, the first responders, some from middle Tennessee, were surprised with a new fixture at Pigeon Forge. City officials hope it will always be a reminder of the hard work, bravery and selfless acts while responding to the deadliest wildfire in Tennessee history.

The statue now sits at Pigeon Forge's Patriot Park.

About the wildfires

Fourteen people were killed, hundreds injured and thousands of buildings were burned when high winds fueled fires that started in the Smoky Mountains.

It happened at the height of the area's tourism season.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off