150 buildings damaged or destroyed in Sevier County
As flames and choking smoke driven by high winds continued to bear down on the Great Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee, emergency officials said early Tuesday that at least 100 buildings have been affected by raging wildfires.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said in a news release that at least 10 of the homes that were impacted were in Gatlinburg, including a 16-story hotel and an apartment complex. According to Fox 17 Nashville, 30 structures have been burned in Gatlinburg.
Authorities issued a Level 3 state of emergency and ordered the evacuations of Gatlinburg, Mynatt Park, Park Vista, Ski Mounty and Pigeon Forge on Monday. The National Guard was being deployed to help with evacuations.
“We urge the public to pray. We urge the public to stay off the highways. The traffic that is on the roads is emergency equipment. If (the public) could just stay home and stay tuned to their local media outlet,” Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said at a Monday night press conference.