Tags: tennessee | wildfire | death | toll

Tennessee Wildfire Death Toll at 11 After More Bodies Found

Tennessee Wildfire Death Toll at 11 After More Bodies Found

Burned structures seen from helicopter near Gatlinburg. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
 

By    |   Friday, 02 December 2016 06:26 AM

The Tennessee wildfire death toll climbed to 11 on Thursday after more bodies were found in Sevier County where more than 700 homes and businesses have been destroyed.

After following up on dozens of leads of missing people, authorities said most had been accounted for, reported The Associated Press. Officials did not say whether they believe anyone else is still missing or may have died.

The AP said on Friday that authorities were still working to identify the dead and did not release any details about how they were killed.

Firefighters battling the Chimney Top 2 blaze got help from Mother Nature with about 1.5 inches of rain, but authorities said the fire remained a threat, according to WBIR-TV. The fire, which covers about 15,653 acres in the Great Smoky Mountain region, was about 10 percent contained as of Wednesday evening.

Earlier this week, authorities evacuated thousands from areas around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, including Dolly Parton's theme park Dollywood, said USA Today.

Alice Hagler, of Chalet Village, was confirmed dead by her son. Her body was one of three found in her neighborhood, reported the Knoxville News Sentinel.

"It's with a very heavy heart that we have to announce that our mother was found in the ruins of her home, her life taken by a devastating fire that impacted so many lives in East Tennessee and will continue to for some time to come," said her son Lyle Wood.

The News Sentinel said wildfires are burning in 19 different areas across six Southeastern states

"The rainfall received today will only last for one to two days due to prolong drought," according to an update from the Southern Area Red Team, noted WBIR-TV. "Fire activity will increase until significant rainfall is received over several days."

A fire behavior analyst with the Southern Area Red Team told the television station that indices used to predict fire danger were approaching all-time highs before the rainfall.

"These indices will start to move back towards the same level as before the fire over (the) next couple days if no rainfall is received," the team's update said. "This means the rain we received may have slowed this fire for a day or two at a critical time, but the threat from this fire is still there."

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The Tennessee wildfire death toll climbed to 11 on Thursday after more bodies were found in Sevier County where more than 700 homes and businesses have been destroyed.
tennessee, wildfire, death, toll
385
2016-26-02
Friday, 02 December 2016 06:26 AM
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