GATLINBURG (WATE) – A view from the air is giving a look at the devastating damage in Gatlinburg.
A fire near the Chimney Tops spread, causing dozens of fires across Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Wears Valley. Gatlinburg Fire Department said there are about 14 active fires burning as of Tuesday afternoon.
WATE 6 On Your Side Meteorologist Ryan Beesley went up with pilots from Scenic Helicopter Tours to get a bird’s eye look at the fires.
“It’s very shaky because it is so windy,” said Beesley. “Getting into that smoke while being in a helicopter also created a lot of turbulence.”
Beesley said the damage was unreal. He said much of the destruction was along Sky View Drive, northwest of Gatlinburg and just east and north of Wears Valley, where hundreds of homes had burned to the ground. He said condos were demolished.
“All of those brown spots you are seeing, those are the foundations of homes,” said WATE 6 On Your Side Meteorologist Ryan Beesley. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
There were still active fires and a lot of hot spots, according to Beesley.
“I didn’t see a lot of flames. A lot of the residue is just low burn. Last night all of the videos we saw flames just shooting up.