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Smoky Mountains Fire

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On November 23rd a fire was reported in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Chimney Tops.  This is a popular section of the park.  Thought the trail is relatively short (just under 2 miles each way) there is an elevation gain of almost 1,000 feet the last mile up.  The wildfire was human caused and under investigation.

This fire was relatively small at its inception but on November the 27th, the Monday after Thanksgiving, extreme winds began blowing embers over a large area and the fire began to grow rapidly. The resort communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were particularly hard hit.

Reported wind speeds of over 70 mph coupled with the extreme drought conditions brought tragedy.  As of this writing there are 14 confirmed deaths and 1,700 structures damaged or destroyed.  The fire has burned over 17,000 acres. For a current status of the fire go here - http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5112/

Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens and communities affected.