Oral history of deadly Gatlinburg fire going online

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — An oral history of a deadly wildfire that began in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and devastated Gatlinburg in 2016 will be easily accessible to the public beginning on Tuesday.

That’s when Rising from the Ashes: The Chimney Tops 2 Wildfires Oral History Project becomes available on the University of Tennessee Libraries website.

Working with the city of Gatlinburg and the Anna Porter Public Library in Gatlinburg, the UT Libraries collected around 140 audio and video interviews, according to a news release. The interviews are with people who lost homes and businesses, first responders, fire and forestry experts, artists, journalists, clergy, health care professionals, educators and others.

“This project documents one of the most momentous events in modern Tennessee history — in the voices of those who lived it,” said Steve Smith, dean of the Libraries. “The collected stories ... testify to the resilience of the human spirit.”