As the smoke began to clear after this week’s devastating wildfires in Tennessee, which took the lives of 14 and destroyed over 1,750 structures, residents have begun to slowly trickle back into the area. The town was officially set to reopen on Friday, Dec. 9, but it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to bring the small town back to its charming, original state.
According to Marion Paul, owner of the Fannie Farkel’s Gatlinburg FEC, downtown Gatlinburg (where her business and many others are located) was mostly spared from the brunt of the burn. She considers herself and the many business owners who escaped the disaster to be very lucky, but still knows there’s a great deal of work ahead before things are back to normal.
Rains throughout the week helped tamp the blaze and officials were able to get it under control. Two juveniles have been charged with aggravated arson in relation to the blaze. Although officials consider the fires to be still active, much of it has been contained as the town reopens today.
For more information on the status of the town’s clean-up, look at this ABC article that Paul is featured in as well.