3 people confirmed killed in Gatlinburg, Tennessee fires

A wildfire burns on a hillside after a mandatory evacuation was ordered in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a picture released November 29, 2016. © Tennessee Highway Patrol
Wildfires in Tennessee are responsible for three deaths in addition to damages to homes and businesses. The fires began in the Great Smoky Mountains and are suspected to be the result of arson.

The blaze began on Monday evening, close to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate. The fire continued to rage on Tuesday when it was confirmed that three people had died.

The three victims were initially reported to be in critical condition by the Tennessee Emergency Management. It is unclear whether these are the same three people who were confirmed dead by authorities on Tuesday. Their names have not been released.

At least 150 homes in Sevier County have been destroyed according to USA Today. In Gatlinburg, over 14,000 people evacuated their homes. In addition, vacationers staying at nearby resorts have also been evacuated and many have been sent to shelters in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

READ MORE: Huge fire forces evacuations at Gatlinburg, Tennessee, arson suspected

The fires were significantly reduced between Monday and Tuesday thanks to some rain that fell in the area. More rain is expected by Wednesday.

Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller told CNN that the three victims died in separate incidents. Time will only tell if there are more causalities, as Miller explained that his crew has not been able to access all the areas affected.

At least twelve people have been taken to area hospitals, to be treated for injuries that were mostly non-life threatening. The worst could be over, however, as the high winds that spread the fires have largely died down.