Tags: gatlinburg | apocalyptic | wasteland

Gatlinburg an 'Apocalyptic Wasteland' of Charred Homes

Image: Gatlinburg an 'Apocalyptic Wasteland' of Charred Homes

Smokes still rises out of the remains of a burned-out business Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, after a wildfire swept through the area Monday. Deadly wildfires torched hundreds of homes and businesses in the Great Smoky Mountains area. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

By    |   Friday, 02 Dec 2016 05:16 AM

Photographer Brandon Reese called Gatlinburg an “apocalyptic wasteland” after driving through the still-smoldering remains of the Tennessee town to document this week's wildfire and its aftermath.

Reese is from Abingdon, Virginia, but has vacationed in Gatlinburg and the surrounding area often, he told The Tennessean. After being warned the area was dangerous, Reese was allowed to enter the wildfire area.

 

 

Seven people died as a result of the fires, and more than 700 homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged, including 300 inside the Gatlinburg city limits. The fires were spurred by dry conditions and high winds. More than 14,000 residents were displaced as the fires burned and more than 15,000 acres were consumed, the Tennessean said.

The town was still empty Wednesday as Reese attempted to show the devastation to the world. Police were searching door-to-door for victims, and the risk of mudslides and rockslides continued to increase as rain and water from the fire hoses soaked into the now-bare ground.

Golf carts and vehicles also were burned as residents fled and left everything behind. Part of the sign leading into town was burned, and park rangers warned that once a rainy weather pattern passes, the risk of more fires would return again.

A vigil was held Wednesday at Pittman Center Elementary School to pray for the fire victims and their families.

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Photographer Brandon Reese called Gatlinburg an "apocalyptic wasteland" after driving through the still-smoldering remains of the Tennessee town to document this week's wildfire and its aftermath.
gatlinburg, apocalyptic, wasteland
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2016-16-02
Friday, 02 Dec 2016 05:16 AM
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