A large brush fire in Dolly Parton’s hometown of Sevierville has been making headlines in the last couple of days as residents are being asked to evacuate their homes for safety.
On her Instagram last night (3/31), she posted, “I’ve been keeping up with everything going on with the fires in my home area. It looks scary on TV, but I am proud of the way everyone has pulled together like they always do. I am especially proud of the brave men and women who are working to contain the fire.”
Parton added, “I know there are some folks who are affected, and I hope that you will join me in saying a prayer for them.”
Back in 2016, the mountain town of Gatlinburg, near her East Tennessee hometown, was ravaged by a fire burning many homes and causing significant damage to the Smokey Mountain area and beyond. At the time, Parton organized a Nashville telethon to benefit families affected by the blaze. She raised millions of dollars in the event, which included appearances by her friends Reba McEntire, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Kenny Rogers, to name a few.
During the telethon, Dolly told me that after she called her family and friends in the area, she found out no one she knew personally was affected, adding, “But everybody’s not that fortunate, and that’s all the more reason we should be grateful for what we have and to help everybody else.”
Parton provided people affected by the 2016 fires a thousand dollars a month each to help them get by. After months of giving them that, she gave each family a five thousand dollar check. Dolly delivered the final checks personally, handing one to each family.