Driving Through a Tennessee Wildfire Looks Like Hell on Earth
The folks that lived through it captured the terrifying trip on camera.
Multiple Tennessee towns were evacuated Monday evening as a wildfire spread from the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Video shared by those fleeing the area shows just how treacherous the conditions are around what the media has dubbed the Gatlinburg Fire.
The video, which was shared to the "Entertainment News Gaming" YouTube channel but likely originated elsewhere on the web, shows almost 10 minutes of two people and a dog attempting to navigate their way through massive spreads of forest fire in what appears to be a pickup truck. It's gnarly to say the least.
In the clip, you can see that for most of the drive, there is little to no forward visibility, making it nearly impossible to find their way through the torched forest. The truck drives past tons of cabins and—as mentioned in the video—it appears all of them are engulfed with flames. It legitimately looks like hell on Earth.
It's unclear why the people in this video were attempting to drive through flaming forest or whether they would otherwise been avoidable, but it looks damn terrifying.
In the end of the clip, one of the people in the truck says "They didn't give anyone who lived up there any warning. Not even on the news," which shows just how surprised these people—and likely many others caught in these nasty conditions—were by the fire.
Another video uploaded to Twitter showed a similarly horrifying sight—embers flying across the highway and burned-trees up and down the shoulder.
Officials believe more than 14,000 people have been evacuated from the fiery areas, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said in a press release Tuesday morning. Though the fire started in the national park, flames quickly spread to more residential areas overnight with the help of strong winds. As of Tuesday morning, there were no reported fatalities in the area caused by the fires.
The National Park Service announced on Twitter that it "closed all facilities in the park due to the extensive fire activity, and downed trees.”