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Thousands flee Tennessee resort towns wildfires

Thousands flee Tennessee resort towns wildfires

Residents and tourists fleeing Tennessee resort towns wildfires packed the roads in and out of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg on Monday night, as flames and smoke swept across the area.

By Tuesday morning, the flames had shut down the country’s most visited national park, forced thousands to flee their homes and vacation rentals throughout Sevier County and injured a dozen people.

Downtown Gatlinburg was under a mandatory evacuation; the wind conditions got worse and the fires grew unpredictable and dangerous, the fire department said.

The fires threatened homes, businesses and the largest theme park in the area – Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. A park spokesperson said no structures in the park had been damaged but fire crews were standing by.

Authorities say that no missing people or fatalities have been reported so far.

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