The current death toll in the recent Gatlinburg fires is now 14. Two people have been arrested for deliberately setting the Gatlinburg fires.The U.S. Forest Service reports that only 3 large fires are still burning in the US, all in the Southeast, at the southern end of the Appalachian Mts.
Due to many rainstorms and snowstorms, including record numbers of tornadoes again this late fall & early winter, all of the fires in the southern Appalachian Mts. were put out by mid-January, 2017. It remains to be seen if the drought returns next spring, and if it does not, how much damage the forests will have sustained in addition to the fire damage of burns covering slightly over 125 square miles spread out over 5 states.
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