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UT Libraries releases oral history project about 2016 Gatlinburg wildfire

The project collected nearly 140 audio and video interviews with individuals who were affected by or involved in the wildfires, according to UT.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Libraries released a new oral history project on the 2016 Sevier County wildfires.

The University of Tennessee Libraries collaborated with the City of Gatlinburg and the Anna Porter Public Library to put together "Rising from the Ashes: The Chimney Tops 2 Wildfires Oral History Project," according to the university.

On Nov. 28, 2016, the Chimney Tops 2 fire spread out of control into populated areas. The wildfires claimed 14 lives, and there were 1,032 structures destroyed or substantially damaged. 

RELATED: A timeline of recovery: Sevier County remains Smokies Strong 5 years after wildfires

The project collected nearly 140 audio and video interviews with individuals who were affected by or involved in the wildfires, according to UT. The oral histories include interviews with people who lost homes and businesses, first responders, recovery specialists, representatives from charitable and volunteer organizations, government officials, fire and forestry experts, scientists, artists, lawyers, journalists, clergy, mental health professionals, educators, and many others. 

UT said more than 40 of the interviews were recorded by the Anna Porter Public Library in the months following the wildfires and were donated to UT Libraries for the project. They were preserved for posterity in the UT Libraries’ Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives.

You can find these resources on UT Libraries' "Rising from the Ashes" website.

"Inferno: The Gatlinburg Disaster" is WBIR's six-part podcast about the wildfires. Warning: Some content may not be suitable for all viewers.