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Report: Inadequate warning by park officials in Smokies fire

FILE - A report says insufficient warning by Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials contributed to dramatically less time to evacuate during a deadly Tennessee wildfire in November 2016. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

A report says insufficient warning by Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials contributed to dramatically less time to evacuate during a deadly Tennessee wildfire in November 2016.

The outside review ordered by the city of Gatlinburg and Sevier County says more timely and accurate communication from park officials would have helped the city prepare sooner.

It says reliance on limited information from the National Weather Service and park officials meant the predicted speed and severity of the impending firestorm was inaccurate.

Park Superintendent Cassius Cash said his team looks forward to reading the report and addressing findings alongside local agencies.

Hurricane-force winds blew embers several miles (kilometers) from the park into Gatlinburg and downed powerlines to spark more fires, killing 14 people and damaging or destroying about 2,500 buildings.

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