The National Park Service insists the agency did its best to warn residents and leaders in Gatlinburg of the approach of wildfires that would later claim 14 lives, but the city’s former fire chief isn’t buying it, records show.
In a scathing affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, former Gatlinburg Fire Department Chief Greg Miller takes direct aim at the National Park Service for the wildfires that swept through the city in November 2016, killing 14 people and destroying more than 2,500 homes and businesses.
“(Gatlinburg firefighters and police) were kept in the dark, uninformed by Park officials about the scale and scope of a fire heading toward Gatlinburg at speeds topping 2,000 acres per hour.
“I believe that if the people of Gatlinburg had sufficient warning, lives and property could have been saved,” Miller wrote. “With sufficient warning, we would have had time to cut off electricity and safely evacuate everyone.
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