7 now dead in Tennessee wildfires

Burned structures are seen from aboard a National Guard helicopter near Gatlinburg, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Thousands of people raced through a hell-like landscape to escape wildfires that killed several people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the Great Smoky Mountains. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
Burned structures are seen from aboard a National Guard helicopter near Gatlinburg, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Thousands of people raced through a hell-like landscape to escape wildfires that killed several people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the Great Smoky Mountains. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Officials in Sevier County say the death toll has now reached seven in the fires in Gatlinburg and the county. The remains have not yet been positively identified nor families notified. They were found in the Campbell Lead Road area and were all adults. Injuries from the fire have totaled up to nearly five dozen.

Mayor Larry Waters said Wednesday three more people have been rescued – two in the Westgate area and one on Ski Mountain – and the number of buildings destroyed or damaged just in the county had risen to at least 400. Another 300 or so have been damaged or destroyed in Gatlinburg.

A curfew remains in place overnight in the area.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has established a hotline to coordinate reports of missing persons in the areas affected by the recent wildfires in East Tennessee. Those wishing to report missing individuals believed to be in the affected areas of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Wears Valley may contact 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Gov. Bill Haslam said this is the largest fire in 100 years in Tennessee.

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