Updates from the Devastating Gatlinburg Wildfires Destruction

Gatlinburg Wildfires and Surrounding Area Wildfires … Pray for rain as parts of the east coast is battling droughts and a lot of wildfires across several states including Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia & Georgia. Below are also updates as them come in about what is going on in the wildfire areas that I know of hear about.

Urgent Call for Prayer for Rain Among Wildfires & Drought Conditions

Most of the time when we hear about wildfires, we hear about them on the West Coast of the United States. This time we are having them on the East Coast area.

Smoke can be seen for hundreds of miles around the areas of the wildfires. The smoke in the air has issued many air quality alerts in the effected and surrounding areas. Plus all this smoke and dry weather has effected many people’s sinuses and allergies.

Urgent Call for Prayer for Rain Among Wildfires & Drought Conditions

The above image is from around November 14, 2016.

Not to mention, burn bans on burning like campfires, brush and more. So if you live in these areas please check and think twice before you burn. If you smoke, please don’t toss your cigarette out the car. This is how most of these wildfires get started or spread faster.

This map in this blog post is one taken from a news website showing all the wildfires in the area. The drought and dry like conditions help fuel the wildfires.

So I am asking everyone to help come together and pray for much needed rain.  Also pray for those effected by the fires and those in evacuated areas due to these wildfires. Plus pray for the workers fighting the fires and even the emergency crews working for those effected by the smoke and fire they are treating too.

I know we have some even close to where I live, within the next county over, Cocke County, along Highway 25/70  has been closed too. Later that day they reopened Highway 25/70 in Cocke County.

Air Quality Alerts

Code Orange Alert

Update November 14, 2016: Parts of East Tennessee and I am sure other states around have a Code Orange Quality Air Alert in effect. These alerts are for pollution, ozone and air quality. This type of alert is for Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

A Code Orange Alert is when air pollution levels are predicted to reach between 101 and 150 on the Air Quality Index (AQI). This means the air is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, including children, active and/or older adults, and people with heart or lung disease.1

Code Red Alert

Update November 15, 2016: We are now in a Code Red Quality Air Alert which is an unhealthy air quality standards. In the red alert people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

A Code Red Alert is an unhealthy” AQI, pollution is 151 to 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.2

There is no significant rain in sight and we need prayers for rain. Only God can provide the much needed rain. God is Jehovah-Jireh, our provider. So please keep us in the Southeast United States in prayer for significant amount of rain.

Updates from the Devastating Gatlinburg Wildfires Destruction

Pray for Gatlinburg!

Gatlinburg Wildfire Updates …

Update November 28, 2016

Here is an update on these wildfires at least near me. Updated November 28, 2016. Gatlinburg, TN area and the Smoky Mountain area has bad wildfires and the wind doesn’t help. We are in strong wind advisories, which help to fuel these fires. We really need rain bad. Since we have got only small amounts of rain the last couple of times it rained. Not to mention, that was not enough rain needed! We need a significant amount of deep rain to help! Please continue to pray for rain! Gatlinburg, TN is very close to me and even today and surrounding areas it is very smoky out and orange looking sky too. This is the reflection of the sun from the clouds and the smoke. It is so bad in the Great Smoky Mountains that ashes are also falling down and calling for evacuations of areas too.

Update 2: Some schools have closed for November 29, 2016 according to other media reports. Sevier County, Cocke County and Greene County schools due to the wildfires and smoke. I am sure as the night and morning come, more will be added. This is the list I had as of 10:50 pm on November 28, 2016.

Update 3: The National Guard has been called in to help with the fires in the Smoky Mountains National Park area.

Update November 29, 2016

We got some rain overnight, but we still need more rain to help with the wildfires and the drought like conditions. So please continue to pray for significant amount of rain to fall. Even with more rain said to be coming, it is believed it won’t be enough to help.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reported, “Hundreds of structures have been destroyed by wildfires in Tennessee and more than 14,000 people have been evacuated from the Gatlinburg area and about 100 homes have been damaged or destroyed by flames from spreading wildfires.”

Below is an updated map of fires burning from USA Today.

Current Wildfires via USA Today November 29 | Southeast Battles Wildfires | Urgent Prayers Still Needed Among Wildfires including Gatlinburg

Update 2: Forced Evacuations lead to Ripley’s Aquarium leaving thousands of animals behind. Many of the employees didn’t want to leave, but the mandatory evacuation made them leave. It is reported hotels, cars, houses, businesses and some attractions have burned. 30 businesses, make that 40 and 100 homes, make that 150, have been effected and the number is only going to increase.

At the time of this update around 12:15 it was reported three people with burns being treated at Vanderbilt Medical Center with critical condition status.

Please keep those evacuated, effected by the fires and smoke and those working around the clock to put out these fires in your prayers too. Including significant amounts of rain too! This is a miracle that God can perform!

Update 3: Around 4:00 p.m. Sevier Mayor Larry Waters: Three fatalities confirmed in fire.

Updated 4: Evacuations lifted, but curfew in effect from 6 pm to 6 am.

Update 5: Fires were also in the Pigeon Forge area near Dollywood too. That is where one person found a burnt bible page.

Update November 30, 2016

Thank you Lord for the heavy rain you have gave us throughout the night, early morning. So far at 8:30 a.m., we are still having some heavy rains. I hope it continues to put out the fire. The downside to a lot of the heavy rain is localized flooding and possible thunderstorms. So Lord, keep us safe from those two elements. I also pray that this will be enough to help with the wildfires in the area and surrounding states. Not to mention, to help with the drought like conditions in these areas too.

From Sam Roberts, National Weather Service meteorologist, About one-half to three-fourths of an inch of rain fell in the Gatlinburg area overnight, significantly reducing the fires. There was even a report saying it was 118° in Gatlinburg due to the fires. (This is from one of the automated weather stations too). I believe one other reason we have been warmer than normal, is due to these wildfires warming up the areas. I know in Jefferson City, TN, where I live, it was round 70°.

Update 2: I seen reports that 45 people total have been injured from these wildfires. Rain has still continued to fall in the area too.

Update 3: It has been reported a fourth fatality now. It has been also believed these fires was human caused the National Park Services (NPS) reported.

Update 4: 3 more bodies have been found. It has been reported that over 400 buildings have been also destroyed too.

Update 5: Curfew in effect again from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday. It was reported some 15,700 acres were consumed by fire.

Update 6: It has also been reported the animals at the Ripley’s Aquarium are okay.

Updated 7: Some people are still reported missing.

Update 8: Dollywood Foundation will give $1,000 a month for six months to families who lost everything.

Update December 1, 2016

It has now been estimated some 17,100 acres has been destroyed, which includes some 10,850 acres of park.  There are still people missing too. Reports show they should be done searching by the end of the day Thursday, December 1, 2016. One report showed There are currently 9 crews, 22 engines, 7 helicopters, 4 dozers and 285 personnel worked the fire. The number is now 700 buildings destroyed or damaged. One report shows 74 at LeConte Medical Center.

Update 2: Death toll now up to 10 people. Injured list now to 80.

Update December 2, 2016

The death toll is now at 13 people. The number of buildings and structures damaged or destroyed now at 1,000.

Update December 3, 2016

Since the rain came on Wednesday, not much more news has come about the wildfires. Just the numbers of structures and death tolls rising, etc. I will continue to try to update this page as more news and info comes in. If you know anything, feel free to comment it below.

Update 2: Death toll still at 13. This includes Michael Reed’s wife and two daughters. Plus the Pastor from Love’s Chapel.

Update 3: Being called a firestorm. Gatlinburg Firestorm.

Update December 7, 2016

Death toll is said to be at 14 now. It is said that residence were allowed back in the area.

Update 2: Two Juveniles Arrested For Allegedly Starting Gatlinburg Wildfires. It has been reported these teens are from Tennessee but not Sevier County. These juveniles face charges of Aggravated Arson, possible more charges to come later. At this time the investigation is on going. The fires started at the Chimney Tops area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on November 23, 2016.

Update December 8, 2016

  • 2,460 structures damaged or destroyed
  • 176 injured or made sick
  • 14 still confirmed dead

Mark yourself Safe

You can mark yourself safe and/or check on friends and family via Safety Check via Facebook.

The TBI also has set up a hotline to report missing persons. The number is 1-800-824-3463, or 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Places Destroyed by fire in Gatlinbrug Area

  1. Alamo Steakhouse
  2. Black Bear Falls Log Home Community
  3. Cobbly Knobb Homes (some)
  4. Cupid’s Chapel of Love
  5. Driftwood Apartments
  6. Eight Gables Inn
  7. First Baptist Church of Gatlinburg Youth Building Only
  8. Gatlinburg Church of Christ
  9. Gatlinburg Welcome Sign
  10. Highlands Condos
  11. Hillbilly Golf (damage to course, building good)
  12. Hughes Hall of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
  13. The Lodge at Buckberry Creek (most structures destroyed)
  14. The Mountain Lodge (Restaurant)
  15. Mysterious Mansion
  16. NAPA Auto Parts Gatlinburg
  17. Park Vista Hotel
  18. Pittman Center Community (some homes)
  19. River Motor Lodge
  20. Roaring Fork Baptist Church
  21. Southland Car & Jeep Rentals
  22. Tree Tops
  23. Wears Valley Community (around 70 homes)
  24. Westgate SMoky Mountain Resort & Spa
  25. Wild Wing of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

Steve’s Prayer for Rain

Dear Heavenly Father,

I ask that you bring rain to help with the wildfires and drought conditions in the Southeast United States, if it is according to your will. We know that you are in control and only you can bring the much needed rain to help.  Also pray for those being evacuated and even those emergency workers working to fight the fires and treat injured people from the fires and smoke. In your Son’s sweet and precious name.


Check out these facts about fire and some Fire Safety Tips

This blog post will be updated with more info as it comes that I find out.

  1. APCB Alert Days
  2. AirNow

Pray for Gatlinburg #PrayforGatlinburg #Gatlinburg (Gatlinburg Wildfires)

Photo courtesy: Ryan DeSear, GM of Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg


Feel free to add your comments below. You can say you are praying, you are safe or if you have any updates that you believe need to be shared as well.


Last Updated December 8, 2016 at 10:40 p.m.

About the Author

Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

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