A review of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s handling of the devastating Chimney Tops 2 Fire in November 2016 found no evidence of negligence by park staff but revealed several shortcomings in the park’s disaster preparedness. more

Dec 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

I grew up in the hills of Northwest Georgia, but from an early age my heart was in the Great Smoky Mountains. I pressed my nose against the glass of the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen in downtown Gatlinburg before I could read. more

Dec 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features 3 Comments

Gatlinburg Gratitude

Webster PR photo

A devastating fire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on Nov. 28, 2016, claimed 14 lives, injured almost 200 and damaged or destroyed close to 2,500 homes, businesses and other structures. A year later, victims look back with gratitude and forward with hope. more

Dec 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

The true impact of the fires won't be known for decades but you will see them while you are in the woods this summer. Get answers with our Q&A from Smoky Mountain News. more


The slogan “Smokies Strong” rose up from the ashes of the 2016 forest fires. Donations flooded in from Gatlinburg’s countless fans across the world. But the best way to help is to visit. more


Perfect storm

Don Hendershot

A confluence of events that came together in the Southern Appalachians in the fall of 2016, which precipitated this unprecedented fire season: Decades of fuel buildup, drought, warm temperatures, low humidity, wind and then ignition. more


Gatlinburg Fire Aftermath

Holly Kays photo

Michael Luciano and Anthony Fulton found the fire while riding their ATVS just a few hundred yards from their home in Gatlinburg, Tenn. more

Jan 1, 2017 12:00 AM Departments

In Oak Ridge

Rick Robinson photo

Most of us have experienced the warmth and comfort of gathering around a fire with friends and family, but probably few of us realize that it’s one of humanity’s oldest traditions. more

Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM Features 1 Comments