Lawsuit against Park Service over Gatlinburg fires allowed to continue
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has ruled that U.S. park officials have failed to show enough was done to keep the public updated as a deadly wildfire spread from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2016.
The ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer in Knoxville keeps lawsuits over the blaze on track for a potential trial, though the U.S. Justice Department can still appeal.
Greer denied the government's motion to dismiss the case, writing that officials didn't provide sufficient evidence to show they met obligations to notify park neighbors, visitors and local residents of fire management activities.
The fire killed 14 people and caused an estimated $2 billion in losses.