Above: Chimney Tops 2 Fire at 9:37 p.m. November 28, 2016 after it had burned into Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Screenshot from the Knox News video.
(Originally published at 11:04 a.m. MST November 23, 2017)
As the one year anniversary of the deadly Chimney Tops 2 Fire approaches, Knox News will be publishing a series of articles about the fire that burned into Gatlinburg, Tennessee on November 28, 2016 killing 14 people, forcing 14,000 to evacuate, destroying or damaging 2,500 structures, and blackening 17,000 acres. Part 1 appeared yesterday along with the video below that includes interviews with first responders and residents, 911 recordings, and dash cam imagery of the fire in Gatlinburg.
Among other issues that came to light about how the fire was managed, the video has an example related to the evacuation. At 7:12 p.m. on November 28 the Gatlinburg Fire Department Captain that was the commander at the time of the firefighting forces working the wildfire in the city, recommended that the single siren, intended to be used for flood warnings, be activated to notify residents and tourists to evacuate. It was not done. Twice more he made the recommendation, at 7:15 and 7:50, but the 911 recordings did not detect a reply. At 8:20 p.m. the Fire Chief ordered a complete evacuation of the city and at 8:30 the siren was activated.
The article has quotes from a piece that we wrote on June 13, 2016 about the decisions made by Great Smoky Mountains National Park personnel during the first five days while the fire was much smaller.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Erik.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.