Dolly Parton's theme park is evacuated over fire

  • Dolly Parton's theme park is evacuated over fire

Dolly Parton's theme park is evacuated over fire

Three people have reportedly died in the USA southeast as wildfires bore down yesterday on a mountainous tourist region home to a theme park founded by country music legend Dolly Parton. However, she has been paying close attention to what's going on back home, she noted Tuesday.

It says, "I have been watching the bad fires in the Great Smoky Mountains, and I am heartbroken".

Officials with Parton's namesake Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge said it wasn't damaged, but said more than a dozen cabins operated by the park were damaged or destroyed by the wildfires.

Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park, spared from damage in the ongoing Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, will reopen Friday after suspending operations out of caution. However the fires damaged or destroyed more than a dozen of the Dollywood-managed Smoky Mountain Cabins.

Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park said: "Unpredicted, extreme weather conditions on Sunday afternoon through Monday led to the exponential spread of fires both inside and outside of the National Park".

Dolly Parton said she is praying for those affected by the wildfires.

Wind speeds topping 110km/h were reported in some parts of Tennessee, which has been hit by the worst drought in almost a decade.

Hundreds of firefighters have descended on Gatlinburg and TEMA estimated that more than 14,000 residents and visitors had been evacuated from the city alone.

Parton is a native of Sevier County, Tennessee.

The Dollywood Smoky Mountain Cabins were among the locations cleared under the order, but firefighters have so far been able to keep the blaze from spreading to the park itself.

"The state is providing coordinated resources, including Nat'l Guard, to help Gatlinburg, all those affected by devastating fires", Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.