PHOTO: Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
Firefighters continue to battle wildfires in eastern Tennessee that have so far resulted in three deaths, extensive property damage and mandatory evacuations for locals and tourists alike, according to CNN.
While several resorts in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have been badly damaged if not completely destroyed, one of the region's most beloved tourist attractions appears to have been spared.
The Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, which is owned by entertainer and Sevier County, Tennessee native Dolly Parton, was fortunate, according to the singer and actress.
"I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains and I am heartbroken. I am praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe," Parton said in a statement to People. "It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared."
According to details provided by Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens, a recent assessment of the park revealed no damage to the park itself. However the fires damaged or destroyed more than a dozen of the Dollywood-managed Smoky Mountain Cabins.
Guests staying at the park's DreamMore Resort were evacuated when the fires escalated Monday and Dollywood has suspended operation for Wednesday.
Another major tourist attraction, Ober Gatlinburg ski area and amusement park, was also spared, according to CNN.
Prior to this week's devastating blazes, Parton appeared in a wildfire PSA alongside Smokey Bear, encouraging visitors to avoid burning leaves and parking on dry grass.
National Park Service spokeswoman Dana Soehn told CNN that investigators believe a trail fire that ultimately reached Gatlinburg was "human caused."