Two of the nation's most popular tourist spots are in danger at this writing as massive drought-fueled Smokey Mountain wildfires are forcing the evacuations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in Tennessee.

USA Today reports that mandatory evacuations of downtown Gatlinburg were issued by the Gatlinburg Fire Department as wind conditions continued to get worse.

In Pigeon Forge, workers are helping firefighters in an effort to prevent the fire from damaging Dollywood, which has yet to incur any, even if some hotel patrons have left.

Brianna Paciorka from the Knoxville News Sentinel captured smoke-filled Gatlinburg on video:



In fact, the News Sentinel has published quite a few startling images of the fires that are ravaging the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina.

This viral video recorded by Kaitlan Chapman is being used by news media across the country. Notice the ash falling from the sky onto what I assume is downtown Gatlinburg.

Scary stuff.

I have great memories of my visits to that part of our country. I can't imagine what it will look like now.