Death toll rises to 7 in eastern Tennessee wildfires
Authorities in Tennessee confirmed Wednesday that at least seven people have been killed in the wildfires that have swept through Sevier County.
More than 700 homes and businesses have been destroyed, and the fire has likely burned at least 15,000 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, The Tennessean reports. Investigators believe the fire was caused by embers from a wildfire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park blowing into Gatlinburg on Monday night. High winds have helped fan the flames, and heavy rains have created "new challenges," Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said. "There's no longer that foliage holding everything together, so we're experiencing small rockslides and mudslides as we have to go back into areas we previously thought were accessible."