GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - The Latest on the wildfires in eastern Tennessee (all times local):
Thousands of people in Gatlinburg are preparing to get their first look at what remains of their homes and businesses after a wildfire tore through the resort community in the eastern Tennessee mountains.
Local officials, bowing to pressure from frustrated property owners, said they'll allow people back into most parts of the city and affected parts of the county for the first time Friday beginning at 10 a.m.
Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle says residents have to pass through a checkpoint and must show some proof of ownership or residency. She says the city is not implying that private property is safe and that people may encounter downed power lines and other dangers.
The wildfires killed 11 people and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.
The charred city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is still days away from reopening after devastating and deadly wildfires, but all around the city, communities in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains are welcoming back residents and visitors.
In Pigeon Forge, the Comedy House rented an electronic billboard message that said it was open for laughs, and a flyer at a hotel urged guests to check out the scenic Cades Cove loop.
Dollywood, the amusement park named after country music legend and native Dolly Parton, will reopen Friday afternoon after it was spared any damage.
In Gatlinburg, the center of the devastation, residents and business owners get their first chance Friday to see whether their properties withstood the blaze that killed 11 people and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.