First responders and disaster relief working to help victims of Sevier Co. wildfires

Reporter Leslie Ackerson gives us more information on how search crews, volunteers and emergency responders are helping victims of the wildfires.

Firefighters and volunteers from all across the South came out to Gatlinburg to assist in search and relief efforts.

While many people are still missing after the wildfires in Sevier County, firefighters developed plans on where to begin looking for possible survivors in the rubble Wednesday night.

“We are clearing the roads in front of the fire department,” said David Helton of Disaster Relief in Grainger County.

“The fire department has to individually search each house for bodies, whatever it may be – animals – whatever may be there, they have to go in and search each house," Helton said.

Search crews went to homes off Carter Road in Gatlinburg, marking homes with caution tape to indicate they were checked.

The Sevier County Utility District, Disaster Relief Tennessee and many other relief organizations have been providing food, water and hygiene items for victims of the wildfire. The parking lot of Rocky Top Sports World lined with thousands of bottles of Gatorade, water and tea.

“Not only the people who lost everything in the fires, but the first responders, the volunteers that are running the show, everybody. Prayers are what we’re needing now,” Helton said.

Relief and search crews will continue to work tirelessly to help others who are now in need of shelter, food, water and clothing.

“It’s going to be a long, long time restoring Gatlinburg, but I think we can do it.” Helton said.

Here is more information on how you can assist evacuees.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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