KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive order on Wednesday designating the recent Sevier County wildfires as a major disaster and ordering state agencies to provide relief.

Lee’s Executive Order No. 96 declared a major disaster and a state of emergency following two wildfires that burned over 3,400 acres and 221 structures from March 30 to April 5.

The order directs state entities to provide relief to those affected by the disaster, including the following:

  • Waive fees from State and county clerks for the issuance of duplicate car titles to replace a motor vehicle title lost or damaged in the fires
  • Gives the Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security the discretion to waive fees for duplicate drivers licenses or photo ID licenses to persons affected by the wildfires
  • State Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance discretion to direct Tennessee-licensed insurance companies to make reasonable efforts to assist policyholders who experienced losses and work with policyholders whose payments may have been delayed due to mail disruption or as a result of displacement
  • Permits vacation lodging services to engage in the business of providing the services of management, marketing, booking and rental of residential units owned by others as sleeping accommodation furnished for pay to persons providing relief services to persons affected by the wildfires for periods longer than 14 days.
  • Makes it easier for contractors to engage in wildfire damage cleanup, provided that the person has sufficient experience and knowledge in the field

The order shall remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 14.