Gatlinburg Fire Chief: 'We are never going to give up hope'

WATE 6 On Your Side staff - GATLINBURG (WATE) - Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller reminded the community of the responders fighting the Sevier County fire.

The Chimney Top 2 fire quickly spread Monday after rising wind speeds. Around 200 firefighters are on the ground.

"Without words is the best way to describe how responders are feeling," said Chief Miller. "They are relying on training and instincts."

Chief Miller said residents should not assume the situation will get better after Wednesday's rain. "Fire is a tremendous beast," said Miller. "We are at heighten risk again today for fires."

Twenty percent are fighting the fires and the remainder are searching.

"We are never going to give up hope," said Miller. He continued that crews are realistic with the situation since 65 hours have gone, "It may become more of a recover than a rescue."

Miller said he was proud of every firefighter. "We are putting our responders in some of the toughest conditions that they have ever faced."

Related: Intense video shows Gatlinburg fires from frontlines 

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