Lawsuit over National Park Service’s handling of 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires on hold

Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg wildfires_251166

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — A lawsuit over the National Park Service’s handling of the 2016 wildfires in Gatlinburg is on hold while a judge considers the argument from federal lawyers asking for it to be dismissed.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of survivors, insurance companies and Michael Reed, a man whose wife and children were killed when fire swept through Sevier County.

Government lawyers have asked to have the case dismissed — the court heard arguments in August. Judge Ronnie Greer is still considering those arguments and has now issued a stay, rejecting both sides’ calls to set a schedule. An earlier request to toss out the case was rejected back in December.

This November marks five years since wildfires in Sevier County killed 14 people and caused an estimated $2 billion in losses.

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