GATLINBURG: Tenn (WKRN) – It has been nearly six months since the devastating wildfires in the Smokies began.
Fourteen people were killed and more than two-thousand homes were destroyed. Dozens of businesses were also destroyed.
On November 28, high winds ripped across the ridge tops, turning a small glow in the distance to a beast too great for anyone to handle.
A total of 2,545 structures were impacted across the county. Millions of dollars of damage became proof that Mother Nature had branded a nightmare into the minds of those in the Smoky Mountains.
PHOTOS: Wildfires in East Tennessee
Over the next six months, the phrases ‘Mountain Tough’ and ‘Smokey Strong’ became household reminders that better days are to come.
Sevier county native Dolly Parton created My People Fund, giving $10,000 to more than 900 families who lost everything in the blaze.
So far, county leaders say close to 200 permits have been filed to rebuild across the are. However, others still cleaning up debris from destroyed homes.
With a long road ahead, businesses will rebuild, people will come back, and city leaders say Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains will be tougher than ever.