Tennessee wildfires have killed 7

Tennessee wildfires (KSN News)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP and NBC) – Seven deaths have been confirmed in the wake of Tennessee’s devastating wildfires, and several more remain missing.

Thousands were forced to flee their homes Monday night when the fires, pushed by hurricane-force wind gusts, rapidly spread through Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas.

Search-and-rescue missions are ongoing. Authorities have not positively identified the dead.

Evacuees on Wednesday talked about their escape from the fire.

“It was literally like driving through hell,” said Gatlinburg evacuee Tammy Leng.

Now safe in a shelter, Leng and her husband are anxious to know the status of their home.