After months of very little rainfall in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, the resort communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have been getting hit hard with wild fires triggered by drought and high winds. In fact, a massive wildfire has claimed much of the Westgate Smoky Mountains Resort at Gatlinburg property. The Interval International “Elite” rated resort with numerous buildings, has been caught in the fire. There are 323 units still standing, but 69 of the 90 resort buildings burned down, according to a spokesman for Westgate Resorts. The water park, operations and sales are among the buildings remaining with officials saying that they expect the resort to reopen in about two weeks with many of the destroyed buildings to be upgraded. According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, hundreds of structures have burned in Gatlinburg. Two other resorts have been lost in the fire, including Black Bear Falls and Ober Gatlinburg.
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