The fire in Tennessee has trapped hotel guests as 80 mph winds have fueled the flames, and the fire quickly engulfed the grounds of the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg. The hotel was filling up with smoke as the doors came off their rollers, reports one guest. Firefighters were able to barricade the lower floors, then break the top floor windows to remove the smoke from inside the hotel.
Guests trapped inside hotel
People were finding it hard to breathe inside the smoke-filled hotel. The fire quickly made it up the side of the mountain towards the hotel and the firefighters said it was too dangerous to evacuate the guests. The high winds have embers flying everywhere and trees fell across the only road down the mountain, so the firefighters told everyone to stay put, according to Fox News.
Danger on the roads
You can see just how smoky it is inside the hotel where people are stranded and waiting out the fire from the video below. The video was posted by a guest at the hotel who was told along with everyone else to barricade themselves inside, and not to attempt to leave, reports WATE News.
Dollywood evacuated as fire nears
Dollywood is in the path of the fire and the grounds are being evacuated as the Great Smoky Mountain Region of Tennessee is going up in smoke. The wind-fueled fires have gotten to at least 100 structures in the region as the fire rages on. While the fire is close by, so far Dollywood has been spared.
The National Guard has been deployed to help with the fire evacuations at Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Mynatt Park, Ski Mounty and Park Vista on Monday. At a Monday night press conference, Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller asked for prayers from the public before urging people to stay off the highways and leave the roads for emergency vehicle use only.
A video posted online shows the dangers that await anyone attempting to drive out of the area. You can see that video below:
ABC News reports today that the fire reached the "doorstep" of the famous Dollywood Park. Dolly Parton's amusement park sees millions of visitors each year. Today it is darkened by the smoke that has blanketed the area. CNN reports thousands of people have been evacuated in the area. According to Fox News, 1,300 people were evacuated in Gatlinburg alone. There are no reports of fatalities to come out of this fire, but several people are being treated for burns.
A social media user posted pictures he had taken along Dollywood Lane in Pigeon Forge. You can see the photos in the Twitter post below.
#Dollywood Fire #Tennessee Fire #Fire traps hotel guests
Photos of fire currently burning along Dollywood Lane in Pigeon Forge pic.twitter.com/tcLqHKCxQW— Darren Reese (@GSunDarrenReese) November 29, 2016