GATLINBURG, Tennessee– Some unforgettable photos show what firefighters are going through as they battle deadly wildfires in Tennessee.
The Johnson City Firefighters Association posted several photos on its Facebook page, one of which shows firefighters lying down on the sidewalk, getting some much-needed rest.
The caption said, “Some pictures from our members who have spent time helping in the horrific fires that’s taken place in Gatlinburg. Please continue to keep the residence and our first responders who are still on scene in your thoughts and prayers.”
ABC News reported that the photo was taken during the firefighters’ first break in 30 hours. One firefighter reportedly told them, “The next time u hear someone complain about their bed being a Lil too hard, show them this….”
A total of seven people have died in the wildfires, authorities said Wednesday. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters says more than 400 structures have been destroyed.
The fires spread with little warning Monday from the Great Smoky Mountains into inhabited areas in and near the resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Some fires continued to burn Wednesday, and authorities continued to block off Gatlinburg, from which about 14,000 residents and tourists had been evacuated Monday.
Investigators believe the trail fire was “human caused,” Soehn said, without offering further information, but it’s still under investigation.
Wildfires have burned in parts of the Southeast for weeks, fueled by the region’s worst drought in nearly a decade.
Some major attractions such as the Ober Gatlinburg ski area and amusement park survived, but plenty of homes and other businesses were destroyed, and Gatlinburg residents have yet to be allowed back into the city to assess the damage.
While they wait, responders scramble to check more buildings, and families hope for news of the missing.