Devastating fires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the surrounding areas have completely engulfed the mountain communities in a massive hellfire. The cause of the fires, which started over the weekend, is believed to be arson, but the fires are spreading extremely quickly because of weather conditions. “Everything was like a perfect storm,” Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, told local CNN affiliate WATE. The fires started because of an awful drought, then spread quickly because of the heavy wind, which caused some trees and power lines to go down, which in turn caused more fires. It’s a very awful situation for the residents and businesses in the area.
From what we can understand this morning, much of Gatlinburg is gone. The houses, the chalets, the hotels. Fire is a real b*tch. Thankfully there was a little bit of rain on Tuesday morning, but there’s not much that can be done for what’s already been destroyed.
But more important than homes and livelihoods are the actual lives of the people living there, and escaping from a situation like an entire mountain on fire is not something we ever hope to experience. Some of the residents had the presence of mind to film their escape, which seems like a scene out of some horror film or apocalyptic video game. It’s definitely nail-biting, harrowing stuff.
If the cause of these fires really is arson, the person responsible better hope that the law doesn’t ever find them because they are going to be toast.
We’ll be updating this post as more, unbelievable videos start coming into the fold. Check out the videos below.
Escape From Gatlinburg
This video shot by Michael Luciano from Facebook is absolutely insane. It shows two men and their dog, Red, trying to escape from the devastating Gatlinburg fires that have consumed the town on their way down the mountain. One of the problems is that there are downed trees and power lines blocking the roads and escape routes. Of course, that’s compounded by the high heat, smoke inhalation, and extremely low visibility.
If it looks like hell, that’s because it is.
Multiple Views Of The Fire
This video is a little different from some of the others in that it’s a compilation. The first videos show the Gatlinburg fire heading towards town, while the following videos show the view of the fires from inside a hotel.
Westgate Resort In Gatlinburg
City of Gatlinburg
In this video shot by Kaitlan-Jo Chapman, you can see how the sky turns orange from the combination of the smoke (which blocks out the sun) and the fire, which is the only light visible in Gatlinburg.