Death Toll Rises in Tennessee Wildfires - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Death Toll Rises in Tennessee Wildfires

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A Tennessee mayor confirms three more fatalities in the wildfires that swept through the Great Smoky Mountains, raising the death toll to seven.
    
Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters also said Wednesday that nearly four dozen people had been injured in the fires.
    
Officials now believe more than 400 buildings have been damaged in the county. Heavy rain fell early Wednesday, which is helping put out some of the wildfires, but officials say more than 200 firefighters are still out battling flames and hotspots.
    
Tod Hyslop, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Morristown, Tennessee, says the Gatlinburg area got about ¾ of an inch to 1 inch of rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.
    
He says rain will pick up midday Wednesday through the afternoon and taper off about 4 or 5 p.m. The system is moving slowly, which increases the chances of more rain.
    
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said any rain will help, but the fires are still an "ongoing situation."
    
Wildfires have been burning for several weeks across the drought-stricken South. But Monday marked the first time homes and businesses were destroyed on a large scale.
    
Gatlinburg, a city that opens up to 11 million visitors annually, is facing a new reality. But Mayor Mike Werner, who lost his home, says his town will pull together and recover.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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