Our beautiful Smoky Mountains are on fire. Wildfires have burned I don't know how many acres, hotels, attractions, homes. It is so sad to see all this destruction. There are no words to describe how I feel right now. Thankfully as of this morning, there have been no fatalities and just a few injuries.
We have been having fires all around us for the last few weeks, most caused by arson. I truly do not understand the need to set a fire that might cause damage and/or death. There have been 2 arrests that I know of at this time. My first inclination was that they should be made to fight the fires and kept there until they were completed extinguished. I still think that's a good idea except for the fact that these men would probably enjoy being around all that.
The Ripley Aquarium, in downtown Gatlinburg, had to be evacuated last night. A lot of the employees didn't want to leave because it meant leaving all the animals behind, but they finally had no choice. The aquarium is all right as far as I know. Arrowmount, which is a school for artists, again located in downtown Gatlinburg, has been almost completely destroyed.
I watched videos last night of the fire burning right at the road's edge. The spur, that runs between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg through the forest, was totally on fire.
We got some rain last night but it was accompanied by high winds and there wasn't enough rain to help the firefighters. There's an 80% chance of rain tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully, it will happen and knock down this massive fire.
I am far enough away that the flames are not a danger to my home, but everything is so dry because we are in a drought situation. So very sad. It brings home the devastation that folks on the west coast have been dealing with for years. I never dreamed my beautiful mountains would be lost to fire.
That's all I have today. Maybe tomorrow I will be back with news from this month. There's a lot. I haven't been in the mood to post for a while but hopefully, that will change.
As always, thank you for visiting my blog. I wish today's post was filled with happy, jolly news but I just can't. I send each of you hugs and love.
****Edited to add - There have been 3 fatalities so far.