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Saturday 24 February 2018

Dolly Parton sets up fund for wildfire victims

Some walls of a burned-out business remain in Gatlinburg (AP)
Some walls of a burned-out business remain in Gatlinburg (AP)

Country music star Dolly Parton is establishing a fund to help victims of the wildfires that burned hundreds of homes and businesses in the Great Smoky Mountains area and left seven dead.

She said The Dollywood Company and The Dollywood Foundation are establishing the My People Fund, which will provide 1,000 US dollars (£790) monthly to Sevier County families who lost their homes.

More than 14,000 people were evacuated from Gatlinburg on Monday night and many of them are still nervously awaiting word of when they can get back in the city to see if they still have homes.

The flames reached the doorstep of Dollywood, the theme park named after Ms Parton. The park was spared any significant damage and will reopen on Friday.

Ms Parton said she hopes the financial assistance will help people who lost everything get back on their feet again.

Earlier, the superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National park said the wildfires that devastated parts of eastern Tennessee were likely to be human-caused.

Cassius Cash's comments, made on Wednesday afternoon, were reported by The Washington Post.


Press Association

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