BREAKING NEWS: Fire in the Smokies Threaten Timeshare Resorts

Update via Black Bear Falls Facebook page: “It appears the news stations have mistakenly reported the wrong community name. Black Bear Falls has not been impacted by the fires at this time.”

An important message from David Siegel – https://www.westgatereservations.com/blog/gatlinburg-resort-closed-notice/

Copyright Bruce McCamish Photography
Pigeon Forge to the left….the orange glow of fires burning on the Spur between there and Gatlinburg… Copyright Bruce McCamish Photography

“Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa has sustained some damage and will be temporarily closed… The resort will be closed until further notice and we will post more information as it becomes available. All existing reservations are being automatically canceled through the end of the year.” –  Update via Westgate Facebook page

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) reports that uncontrollable wildfires have demolished a number of tourist facilities in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, area. “Westgate Resorts is likely entirely gone (more than 100 buildings), Black Bear Falls has likely lost every single cabin, Ober Gatlinburg reportedly is entirely destroyed,” said an Agency spokesperson. (- UPDATE: Ober Gatlinburg says its property has NOT been destroyed, contrary to TEMA report.)

 

WATCH: Incredible video taken by WBIR Channel 10 viewer Aaron Gholston of flames taking over Westgate Resort in #Gatlingburg – the latest information on this destructive fire right here: http://www.wbir.com/news/local/list-shelters-open-for-wildfire-evacuees/357517214

Posted by Madison Wade WBIR on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Resort Trades spoke earlier today with Nick Gray, a senior executive with Amber Management Group, which operates Sunrise Ridge Resort and Oakmont Resort in Pigeon Forge, as well as Tree Tops Resort in Gatlinburg. “We were ordered to evacuate last night,” said Gray. “As they left, staff at Tree Tops said the fire was getting close to some of our outlying units.”

“Even with the rain that is currently falling there, the fires continue to burn and structures remain engulfed with little hope that the rainfall will bring immediate relief,” TEMA said. Experts suspect arson triggered the firestorm which has grown to cover hundreds of acres. ABC News reports, “Other popular Gatlinburg attractions appear under threat, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which has 1,500 animals. Staff was forced to evacuate Monday evening, leaving the animals still inside….”

 

Before and After Westgate Resorts - #Gatlingburg Fire WBIR Channel 10 Reported - http://ow.ly/P6DE306DNXh
Before and After Westgate Resorts – #Gatlingburg Fire WBIR Channel 10 Reported – http://ow.ly/P6DE306DNXh

At Dollywood, in Gatlinburg, officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park evacuated guests from its resort and cabins as flames approached the area. According to social media reports, the theme park, owned by singer and actress Dolly Parton, will probably not survive.