While nearly 2 inches of rain fell Wednesday on the Great Smoky Mountains, a conflagration that has claimed at least seven lives and destroyed 700 structures this week could still flare up without continued rainfall, officials said.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Friends Of The Smokies Raises $100,000, Will Aid Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wildfire Recovery
In less than 48 hours, thousands of individual donors contributed more than $100,000 to Friends of the Smokies in support of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on #GivingTuesday. One hundred percent of these donations will help meet the greatest needs of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, beginning immediately with emergency relief efforts related to the recent wildfires.
At least three people were killed by fires that swept more than 15,000 acres in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and neighboring Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where more than 100 buildings, including a 16-story hotel in the colorful resort town, were damaged or destroyed. Crews worked into the night Tuesday to continue to assess damage in the park, though the historic LeConte Lodge was said to have survived the conflagration without damage.
UPDATED: Forest Fire Leads To Closure Of Newfound Gap And Other Roads In Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A wildfire burning not far from the roof of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Monday led to closure of the Newfound Gap Road, Cherokee Orchard Road, and Elkmont Road due to the fire crossing the road and thick smoke creating "almost white-out conditions," while a second fire close to the western edge of the park led to a voluntary evacuation of a Gatlinburg, Tennessee, neighborhood.
Work continued Friday to put out a wildfire burning near the top of the Chimney Tops Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Crews at Great Smoky Mountains National Park were to head out Thanksgiving Day morning to attack a small wildfire burning near the top of the Chimney Tops Trail. The fire covered about 1.5 acres when it was reported Wednesday night just beyond the summit of the trail.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are suggesting you take a break from spending on Black Friday and take a hike with them instead.
With wildfires burning in many places of the Southeast, and extremely warm and dry conditions in the forests, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has banned all campfires and use of fire grills in the park, while to the north in Shenandoah National Park fire restrictions have been put in place in the South District.
Solar Panel Seen As Sustainable Power Solution For Great Smoky Mountains National Park Communications
Sunshine is being viewed as a powerful solution for keeping communications online in the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where officials are considering the use of solar panels to generate electricity for communications equipment atop Mount Sterling in North Carolina.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host its 41st annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration at the Sugarlands Visitor Center on Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free event is offered each year on the second Saturday of December.