Gatlinburg, Tennessee (CNN)Wildfires raged in and near eastern Tennessee's mountainside resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge on Tuesday, spurring thousands of evacuations and threatening homes, resorts and other businesses that are vital to the picturesque vacation hub in the southern Appalachians.
Several homes and businesses in Gatlinburg itself have been destroyed by fires propelled by strong winds that pushed from the Great Smoky Mountains into and near communities Monday afternoon, authorities said. Fires were at the edge of the Dollywood theme park in nearby Pigeon Forge on Tuesday morning.
Winds and and the Southeast's worst drought in nearly a decade have helped the fires thrive. Here's what you need to know: