Lawsuits Filed In Deadly 2016 Gatlinburg Wildfires (2/1/2019)

Story by Woodall's Campground Management

As flames raced toward Gatlinburg, Tenn., Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers did nothing - and now call it a "strategy," lawyers for wildfire victims say, according to Knox News

"Unprepared, understaffed and unqualified, park officials failed to comply with one mandated policy after another," attorney Gordon Ball wrote in a motion filed this week in U.S. District Court. "Any reasonable chance to extinguish the fire before it took aim at Gatlinburg was crippled by (National) Park Service misconduct and inaction. ... Park officials used reckless professional judgment, knowing that efforts to contain the wildfire were futile from the start."

The fire that Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 killed 14 people - including Michael Reed's wife, Constance, and daughters, Chloe and Lily - and damaged or destroyed more than 2,500 homes. Reed and 211 other property owners affected by the fire sued the national park last year, seeking more than $120 million in damages.

The lawsuit claims rangers failed to put out the fire, which burned for five days before leaving park boundaries, when they had the chance and dithered rather than warn nearby residents of the impending danger.

To read more click here. 


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