Bill Haslam

At least 3 killed in Tennessee wildfires as thousands flee: 'Hell opened up'

At least 3 killed in Tennessee wildfires as thousands flee: 'Hell opened up'

With flames dripping from tree branches and the air filled with embers, thousands of people raced through a hellish landscape as they fled wildfires that killed three people and destroyed hundreds of homes and a resort in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Fanned by hurricane-force winds, the flames reached the doorstep of Dollywood, the theme park named after country music legend and local hero Dolly Parton. But the attraction was spared significant damage.

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....

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