Gatlinburg firefighting team may head home soon [videos]

Burned structures are seen from aboard a National Guard helicopter near Gatlinburg, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Thousands of people raced through a hell-like landscape to escape wildfires that killed several people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the Great Smoky Mountains. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Devastating Gatlinburg fires

Two weeks after the deadly Sevier County wildfires, the firefighters, emergency responders and officials from across the country who battled the blazes have set a date to return home.

Team members are planning to depart for their home states on Thursday, according to Tennessee Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Phelps.

Nearly 3.5 inches of rain and two weeks of firefighting have reduced Nov. 28's inferno that killed 14, injured 191 and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 structures, into a collection of smoldering stumps, trunks and large limbs. Winds passing through the Gatlinburg area on Sunday night and Monday morning served as an indicator of how close the battle was to being won, and the gusts topping 40 mph did not stoke the dormant flames.

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