‘It looks scary on TV’ | Dolly Parton has a message for first responders fighting to save her home community
East Tennessee native Dolly Parton took to social media to share her thoughts on the current wildfires threatening Sevier County as firefighters continue to battle the blaze.
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Queen of East Tennessee, Dolly Parton, released a statement as mandatory evacuation orders continue and the Hatcher Mountain Wildfire grows.
“I’ve been keeping up with everything going on with the fires near my home area,” Parton said. “It looks scary on TV, but I’m proud of how everyone in the area has pulled together like they always do.”
The fire affected more than 3,700 acres and is 30% contained as of Thursday evening, according to officials with the Sevier County Emergency Management Agency.
Two firefighters were injured and one civilian was airlifted out of the area.
“I’m especially proud of the brave men and women who are working to contain the fire. I know there are some folks who have been affected, and I hope that you will join me in saying a prayer for them,” she said.
Her theme park, Dollywood, is in Pigeon Forge which is outside of the evacuation zone but not far from the active fire fight.
“During this time, I’ve also remained in touch with my people at Dollywood who have assured me everything is okay there,” Parton said.
Parton created the “My People Fund” to help victims of the 2016 Gatlinburg Wildfires.
The My People Fund gave families thousands of dollars and a chance for people to rebuild.
Volunteers from around the world calmed the fears of victims as they donated millions of dollars to the relief fund.
Twin brothers Beau and Zackary MacLellan lost their home and their jobs to the 2016 fire.
The night of Nov. 28, 2016, they weren’t aware of the chaos surrounding them until they received a knock on the door.
“We were so caught off guard. The cop was like, ‘You need to leave, like now,” Zackary reflected.
For the brothers, the My People Fund helped them get back on their feet.
“It brought a tear to my eye to see everyone coming together as one, and it reassured me that everything was really going to be okay,” Beau said.
The brothers carry their work uniforms as a reminder of how far they’ve come since that night. And, it’s the days after that night that they said give them a new light in life.
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