Local Agencies and Volunteers Assist In Relief Efforts for East TN Fire Victims

Local agencies and volunteers joined efforts with their neighbors all across Tennessee to provide assistance to victims of the tragic wildfires which ravaged Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge last week, resulting in 14 fatalities and the destruction of more than 1,500 structures.

According to Fentress Co. Emergency Management Agency Director James Bilbrey, coordinated efforts began early last week involving the office of Fentress County Executive J. Michael Cross and the Fentress County Agricultural Extension Service, along with volunteers from various other organizations, the Jamestown First Baptist Church, Solid Waste, and the local Red Cross.

“We want to particularly thank Executive Cross and Agricultural Extension Agent John Gunter and their staffs, along with Molly Leann Green and the volunteers from the Jamestown First Baptist Church for helping organizing the relief assistance effort,” Bilbrey said.

“We also thank Jackie Selby and his staff at the Fentress County Solid Waste Depart-ment for their efforts and use of the box truck to put the items in,  Fentress County Red Cross Director Charles Whitehead, Kevin Baz of WDEB Radio Station and Steve Boutelle of WCLC Radio for helping publicize the efforts, to the many volunteers who came to help with loading and unloading, and particularly to all the people of the county who brought items to either the Agriculture Extension Service and the First Baptist Church.”

Through the efforts of these people, we were able to take two truckloads of items to the wildfire-affected areas, with Nikki Voiles, Melissa Napier-Fowler, Ashton, Hunter and Jadyn, who took a pickup truck load.

James Bilbrey and Nathan Elmore also took a load of items and supplies.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier