Wildfires lead to evacuation of downtown Gatlinburg, Tenn.

A helicopter returns to collect water Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. There are currently 55 wildfires in the Cumberland Plateau area and have been an estimated 30,000 acres of wildfire to date this year, according to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The Gatlinburg Fire Department has ordered the mandatory evacuation of downtown Gatlinburg as wind conditions worsen and several fires continue to grow increasingly unpredictable and dangerous.

"We were just told by the Gatlinburg Fire Department that they had told everybody in Gatlinburg to get out," said Judy Tucker, director of Sevier County's E-911 call center. "... No one's getting through to anyone. Phones are ringing and not being answered anywhere. It's chaos."

Pigeon Forge city manager Earlene M. Teaster also said all of Pigeon Forge except for the "immediate Parkway" is being ordered to evacuate. Residents in the area are advised to use Highway 411-North to leave the area.

Read more at our news partner's website, knoxnews.com.

Wildfires ravage Southeast