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Burned structures are seen from aboard a National Guard helicopter near Gatlinburg, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The fires spread quickly on Monday night, when winds topping 87 mph whipped up the flames, catching residents and tourists in the Gatlinburg area by surprise. Police banged on front doors and told people to get out immediately. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Four people have now died as a result of the Tennessee wildfire


UPDATE 4:03 p.m. EST, Wednesday

Another fatality has been confirmed in the Tennessee wildfire. Four are now confirmed dead and 45 people have been injured. 

UPDATE 7:25 a.m. EST, Wednesday

The fires that have killed three people in Tennessee were "human-caused," National Park Service spokeswoman Dana Soehn said. CNN reports she did not elaborate.

Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said there are still areas firefighters have not been able to reach due to downed trees and power lines. 

UPDATE: 4:36 p.m. EST 

Officials told CNN wildfires have killed at least three people in Sevier County, Tennessee. 

UPDATE: Several people have been hospitalized with burns due to the Tennessee wildfires.

Downtown Gatlinburg was evacuated as the fire continued to spread.


Thick smoke made Gatlinburg, Tenn. hazy on Monday. 

Gatlinburg Fire Department Chief Greg Miller said on Tuesday the smoke was so bad, firefighters could not see at all in some areas.

Raging wildfires forced Tennessee resort towns to evacuate Monday night, even as a powerful storm system brought much-needed rain to parched Southern states. 

The storm system might do more harm that good -- high winds are spreading the flames. Some gusts were as high as 74 mph, the Knoxville New Sentinel reports

Resort towns like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were evacuated. Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood, a theme park owned by country music legend Dolly Parton. So far, the park has not been damaged.

Four people have now died as a result of the Tennessee wildfire

WATCH  | Here's how the fire looked from one Gatlinburg family's home.

Here's an official statement from Dollywood.

Gov. Bill Haslam deployed the National Guard to assist in fighting the fire.

The wind is not helping, and the rain is not here yet. These are the worst possible conditions imaginable.
Greg Miller, Gatlinburg Fire Department Chief

Firefighters had hoped the storms expected for Monday night would help extinguish the fires, but the rain came later than expected. Strong winds ahead of the rain spread the flames and threatened to knock down trees, making hazardous conditions even tougher for firefighters battling the blaze on the ground.

Parched conditions in the South

The forecast rain may not end the drought. Rainfall totals have been 10 to 15 inches below normal during the past three months in much of the South. 

In Mississippi, powerful storms downed trees and caused power outages for more than 23,000 people statewide. The storm system is also expected to help South Carolina, which is also battling fires.

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