More than a year has passed since the Sevier County wildfires. Since then, there have been memorials, reports, lawsuits and rebuilding.

Now, there's legislation.

State Rep. Dale Carr, R-Sevierville, introduced a bill that would give a county mayor the power to issue an evacuation order to all or parts of the county in an emergency.

"This way it just puts it without any confusion that the county mayor, upon his request, may evacuate the whole county or any portion thereof," Carr said.

It's something Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said he thinks is a step in the right direction.

"Recognizing that the county mayor, representing so many citizens in the county, needs to have some role in those decisions," Waters said.

He said right now, state law doesn't give county mayors the power to issue a county-wide evacuation, and that the order has to come from the governor or the incident commander.

"And so I think that's what brought this particular piece of legislation on is there's something in the Tennessee code that prevents that from happening ... I think as we move through this process we'll facilitate communication," Waters said.

In the case of the wildfires, incident commander and Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller issued an evacuation.

Carr said he knows county leaders would be in contact with city leaders and incident commanders. He said he hopes the bill passes.

"Because this just helps anybody in the state of Tennessee that might come under the same situation," Carr said.