Dolly Parton ‘Heartbroken’ by Wildfires in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains
Dolly Parton has issued a statement about the wildfires that are raging in her home state of Tennessee, offering her prayers to all those affected by the devastation.
Parton's theme park, Dollywood, had to be evacuated on Monday night (Nov. 28) as part of a mandatory evacuation that was issued after multiple wildfires raged out of control in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Parton grew up in the rural area, and has long been a champion of bringing economic growth to the region.
"I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken," she says in a statement through her publicist. "I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe. It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared."
According to CNN, at least 14 different fires were burning in and around the area, fueled by high winds and the southeast’s worst drought in almost ten years.
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Dean Flener tells ABC News that at one point on Monday night fire was raging “right on the doorstep” of Dollywood, but firefighters managed to hold it back. TEMA declared a Level 3 emergency in Gatlinburg Monday night, with 30 different buildings in flames, including a 16-story hotel. TEMA estimates more than 14,000 people have been evacuated, but despite some reported victims with severe burns, no deaths have yet been reported as a result of the fires.
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