Smoky Mountain wildfires: What country artists, others are saying

More than 500 burned acres, 11 confirmed deaths and thousands of evacuated residents and tourists were left in the wake of an East Tennessee wildfire this week. The wildfire began as a small brushfire late Sunday night and quickly grew into one of the worst fires the region had ever seen, exasperated by some of the worst drought conditions Gatlinburg had seen in almost a decade.

Gatlinburg, an East Tennessee tourist hotspot, sits close to Pigeon Forge, where Dolly Parton’s Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country theme parks are located. Upon hearing about the fires, Parton has pledged $1,000 a month from her charity to help people who lost their homes in the fire. To donate, go here.

Parton wasn’t the only country star or Tennessean who expressed condolences on social media. Pledges for money and prayers flooded in throughout the week from coaches, actors, and president-elect Donald Trump.



Gone Country aims to thoughtfully explore the country music genre and where it’s headed, with a focus on national trends and buzzworthy news of the week. For info about album releases and concerts, check out this week’s Country Music Roundup.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or through email at

Author: Jake Harris

Social Content Producer for the Austin American-Statesman.

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