Gatlinburg Fires Close Resorts and Evacuate Residents [Developing]

Tuesday morning has brought more destruction and evacuations in the Gatlinburg, TN area after wildfires from the Great Smoky Mountains spread to neighboring communities. Officials are reporting that more than 250 buildings in the area have been damaged or destroyed, and thousands of local residents and travelers have been evacuated.

So far, the wildfires have affected most of Sevier County, including not only Gatlinburg, but other communities and popular tourist destinations like Pigeon Forge. Among the damaged structures are many hotels and resorts, including the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa, which announced some damage and its closure until further notice on Facebook.

Other reports have cited destroyed cabins, hotels, and houses throughout the area. Popular attractions like Dollywood and Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been shut down and evacuated, and an evacuation order has been issued for the entire city of Gatlinburg.

Sizeable winds over the past two days have been largely to blame for the fires, as the South has seen its largest drought in decades this past year. Fortunately, the forecast calls for rain and slower winds, offering hope that the worst of the fires is done and over with.

If you are in the Gatlinburg area and have been affected by fires, evacuate immediately if possible and do not attempt to re-enter the area. For those who have reservations at local resorts or hotels, monitor your establishment’s social media accounts or contact the corporate customer service departments for further instruction.

This story is developing. Keep checking back with The Timeshare Authority for updates.