This Nov. 29 photo shows the fire in Gatlinburg near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -
A curfew is in effect in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Tuesday night after wildfires turned the area into an inferno.
The fires killed three people and destroyed hundreds of homes and a resort in the Great Smoky Mountains. The flames reached the doorstep of Dollywood, the theme park named after country music legend and local hero Dolly Parton, but the attraction was spared significant damage.
Thousands of people raced through a hell-like landscape as they fled the wildfires.
The fires spread quickly on Monday night, when winds topping 87 mph whipped up the flames, catching residents and tourists in the Gatlinburg area by surprise. Police banged on front doors and told people to get out immediately. Some trekked 20 minutes to catch lifesaving rides on trolleys usually reserved for tours and wedding parties.
In all, more than 14,000 residents and tourists were forced to evacuate the tourist city in the mountains.
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