In Tennessee wildfires, officials estimate $500m in damage

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Local officials estimate that deadly wildfires in East Tennessee have caused more than $500 million in damage.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters released the estimate Tuesday for the wildfires in the Gatlinburg area that killed 14 people.

Officials say 2,460 structures were destroyed or damaged, including more than 2,100 homes and almost 60 businesses destroyed.

Also on Tuesday, Deputy Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Clay Jordan said officials believe there was no way to control the fire in the park before extreme winds brought it into the Gatlinburg area Nov. 28.

Jordan also said there was no number of firefighters or fire trucks that could have stopped the spread of the fires amid winds that reached gusts of about 87 miles per hour.