Sevier Co. mayor says three people have been killed in Tennessee fires

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said Tuesday that the bodies of three people have been recovered in Sevier County in the aftermath of the wildfires raging through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

The wildfires have damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings in and near the state’s eastern towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in a 24-hour period since Monday.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam traveled to Gatlinburg Tuesday afternoon for a briefing by state and local fire and public safety officials on the devastating wildfires in Sevier County.

He released the following statement regarding the fires: “The destruction caused by the wildfires in east Tennessee is tragic. Our hearts go out to all those affected in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of our state’s most treasured natural resources. We will do all we can in the coming days and weeks to help these communities recover. The state has worked with local officials to provide a coordinated, multi-agency response to help evacuate residents and visitors and contain the fires and we are grateful to the emergency personnel who have worked tirelessly to help in these efforts.”