Rain Moves Into Sevier County As Crews Fight Fires

GATLINBURG, Tenn. - Areas in Sevier County got some much needed rain overnight more than 24 hours after deadly wildfires ripped through the area.

Flames spread through the Great Smoky Mountains Monday night, killing at least three people and burning hundreds of homes and businesses. 

More than 14,000 people were forced to evacuate Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, as wind gusts of almost 90 mph pushed the flames down from the mountains. 

Governor Bill Haslam arrived in Sevier County Tuesday and said this was the worst wildfire in the state in 100 years.

Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner also lost his home in the fire. The downtown portion of the popular resort town appears to have been mostly spared, however many surrounding areas were severely burned.

NewsChannel 5 reporter Matthew Torres spotted flames along Wears Valley Road.

Longtime resident Walt Belas said the fires are a "catastrophe" for the area, and acknowledged the high winds and dry weather making conditions difficult for firefighters. 

"Mother Nature started it and Mother Nature is putting it out," he said as rain moved into the area.  

Crews from several agencies across the state, including Tennessee, continued to battle the blaze.

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