By Annie Reuter
As Tennessee continues to grapple with devastating wildfires, Dolly Parton’s theme park could be threatened.
CBS News reports that a wildfire has set 30 structures ablaze in Gatlinburg, Tenn. as of Monday night. One of those structures is a 16-story hotel located at the edge of the Dollywood theme park.
Mandatory evacuations were underway for areas in and around Gatlinburg, including the south part of Pigeon Forge, where Dolly Parton’s theme park is, said Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener in a press release. Fire crews were working overnight to protect the structures nearby the park.
As of last night, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was closed while CBS affiliate WDEF reported that the fire was burning 500 acres. According to Knoxville News Sentinel, more than 14,000 people had been evacuated from Gatlinburg and more than 100 buildings have been destroyed as of this morning.
Dollywood’s website states the park is closed today (November 29).
UPDATE: Dolly Parton has released an official statement:
I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken. I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe. It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared. – Dolly Parton