Severe weather pounds wildfire-ravaged eastern Tennessee overnight
(WLOS) - An overnight curfew is set to expire at 6 a.m. in Gatlinburg, following the deadly wildfires.
At least three people were killed and 14 others injured in the fast-moving fires that tore through the resort city. At least 150 homes, businesses and other structures were damaged or destroyed, including a 16-story hotel, and an apartment complex near the Park Vista Hotel.
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Though a curfew is still in place in Gatlinburg, a mandatory evacuation has been lifted for Pigeon Forge.
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The Gatlinburg Fire Chief said over 200 firefighters are working to put out the fires and an additional 212 firefighters were requested to help. No firefighters have been injured at this time. The single greatest concern for firefighters Tuesday night is the wind.
Eastern Tennessee was hit by severe weather that prompted tornado watches and warnings early Wednesday morning. Currently it is not clear how the storms will impact recovery efforts.
Sevier County Schools are closed for Wednesday.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency is asking Sevier County residents to stay off mobile devices unless it's for emergency calls.
Investigators say the Chimney 2 fire started on November 23 on the north spire of the Chimney Tops. Originally it was reported at less than two acres. The flames spread to eight acres by November 26. More fires spread outside of the containment line on Sunday because of gusty winds.
Chimney 2 fire officials say the fire was human-caused.