Drought-fueled wildfire ‘apocalypse’ hits Tennessee

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Strong winds fanned flames from a large wildfire in eastern Tennessee on Monday, damaging a large number of structures in picturesque Gatlinburg, and prompting widespread evacuations.

The Chimney Top Fire is part of a broader outbreak of blazes burning across the Southeast amid unusually mild and dry conditions during what will be one of the top 5 warmest years in U.S. history, and the hottest year globally. 

The high winds that hit on Monday, and are continuing in some areas on Tuesday, dramatically escalated the risk of unpredictable and extreme fire behavior. The fire’s advance on Gatlinburg and other areas caught thousands off-guard, according to the National Park Service.  Read more…

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