I was born in East Tennessee, less than an hour from Dollywood. As a kid it was a fun place to grow up, especially when you lived only a stones throw from the Great Smoky Mountains. It was rare that you’d find a weekend that me, my friends and even my family didn’t travel up to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg to just hang out and enjoy the beauty of the mountains.
There were times when money was tight and my dad wanted to do something as a family and so we would drive up to the Smoky Mountains and would have a picnic and take in the beauty of the world around us. We’d take a drive through Gatlinburg to see the beautiful leaves changing in the fall. My husband and I even honeymooned there.
Monday night I was in shock to see people being evacuated because a fire was ravaging my beautiful part of the country. A fire they believe, from what I’ve read, was started by a human. Parts of Tennessee and other southern states suffered very dry, drought conditions this year, just like Southern California.
My heart broke seeing all the places I used to visit being destroyed. It felt like my memories were all burning down. I heard a report that stated over 100 structures burned, including homes and businesses.
My childhood bestfriend’s husband works for a surrounding area fire department. He and his department are one of the many firefighters who are helping. Firecrews are still working and battling to put out the fires. Thank God for them.
I know being in Southern California wild fires are not new to us. Regardless of where wildfires are they are truly devastating to the people and animals effected in those areas.
They are seeing rain in the fire area, but they believe it wont be enough to completely dampen the blaze. Please stop and say a prayer or at least keep East Tennessee, the firefighters and everyone helping in your thoughts.
Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood is in Pigeon Forge. (Funny, I remember it being Silver Dollar City before Dolly bought it.) Luckily the park was spared. She released a statement earlier this morning that read:
“I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken. I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe. It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared.” – Dolly Parton