Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
November 29, 2017 – Sparked by high winds and extreme drought conditions, wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains surrounding Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings, including a 16-story hotel as well as a mountain resort & spa, while forcing thousands to flee from their homes and lodging.
While there was no damage to Dollywood theme park or its Splash Country water park, staff evacuated families staying overnight in 50 rooms at the park’s DreamMore Resort and 19 of their Smoky Mountain Cabins out of precaution. The multi million dollar resort, which opened in 2015, was not affected, but several of the cabins were damaged or destroyed by the fires.
Dollywood will remained closed until Friday. Its DreamMore resort will be open on a limited basis as a shelter and for registered guests.
Over 14,000 people were evacuated from the area and at least a dozen people were taken to hospitals, including some with burns. Three deaths associated with the wildfires have also been reported.
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