Forest Fire Threatens Downtown Gatlinburg, Dollywood


GATLINBURG, TN (CelebrityAccess) — A major forest fire has forced the evacuation of the resort town of Gatlinburg, Tenn., as well as the adjacent Dollywood Theme Park.

According to the United Press, fire officials said that the blaze was "right on the doorstep" of Dollywood theme park overnight, prompting the evacuation of guests from the resort, which has suspended operations.

The fire has also affected the downtown region of Gatlinburg. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reported at least 30 structures have been destroyed in the area, with some reports suggesting that the 16-story hotel attached to the Gatlinburg Convention center had been involved in the fire.

As of Tuesday morning, TEMA reports more than 100 homes have been destroyed with one person injured. About 1,200 people were in a local shelter Monday night.

A dramatic video of a family escaping from the nearby community of Chalet Village, a resort community of mountain cabin rentals, went viral after it was posted Tuesday morning. The video shows the family's increasingly desperate bid to escape from a mountain that seems consumed by fire.