Obama talks with Gov. Haslam about East Tennessee fires

Governor Bill Haslam (Photo: WKRN)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has spoken with Tennessee’s governor to offer support for residents gravely affected by recent wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains.

A statement from the White House says Obama asked Republican Gov. Bill Haslam for an update on the ongoing response to the wildfires, which destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed seven.

PHOTOS: Wildfire in East Tennessee

The White House says Obama expressed his condolences for the lives lost in the fire. He also offered his sympathies to those residents who may have lost their homes or business.

Obama also committed to providing the assistance necessary to combat this fire.

The White House says FEMA approved a grant earlier this week to help mobilize the resources necessary for an effective response.

Click here for continuing coverage of the Sevier County wildfire.