With the Great Smoky Mountains being the most visited park in the United States, it’s sure to suffer from the recent wildfires that have not only claimed seven precious lives but the effects of the wildfires have caused much more disaster than simply the forest burning. It is a major tourist attraction. Tennessee Wholesale Nursery is giving back by donating large amounts of trees to replant.
More than 15,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest have burned from the busy streets of Gatlinburg to up in the mountains of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area. Folks come from all over America to see the attractions like Dollywood, black bears, deer and other types of wildlife that live there in serenity, not to mention the mountain areas and the park itself being the main attraction in Sevier County, Tennessee and the number one visited national park in United States.
Over 700 structures including homes, vacation rentals, restaurants and hotels have burned down from the drought ridden area where the wildfires are raging. The damage is well in the billions of dollars, as the mayor of Gatlinburg has stated in a press conference. Some people are still missing and the death toll is up to seven. Many firefighters and volunteers from surrounding counties as well as the Red Cross have set up disaster shelters and have come to the aid of the homeless, area businesses and tourists that may need emergency assistance in the area.
Pigeon Forge, at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, is also home of Dolly Parton. Dolly’s famous Dolly-wood Theme Park resides near the disaster areas as well as her 300 million dollar Dream-more Resort. Flames were ravishing the wooded areas behind Dream-more but the fires remained out of direct range from resulting in a massive loss for the Dolly Parton Enterprises if disaster had hit the premises. Dolly Parton said in a statement that she is heartbroken and hopes to be able to arrive and help the families with the loss of their homes soon. Ms. Parton is donating $1000 per month to all families that have had homes lost for the next 6 months to help some of the victims that lost their homes due to the wildfire.