The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that some 14,000 people have been displaced by fire raging around Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which has consumed over 15,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains. As of this writing seven lives have already been lost, and to give you an idea of how hot it’s burning out there, these photos show how the wheels have melted off of the cars they were on.
A resident who was fortune enough to escape harm captured these images at the Westgate Resort, which appears to have been almost completely razed by the conflagration.
We’ve all seen images of crisped cars before, and this “melting” of aluminum apparently isn’t extremely uncommon—but I’ve never seen the phenomenon look quite as horrifying as it does in these photos.
Since aluminum melts at around 1,200ºF, it’s safe to say these vehicles were very hot for a long time.
Fortunately, it sounds like relief operations in full swing and well-stocked with donated supplies. Here’s hoping the area can be cleaned up and re-populated safely soon.
Hat tip to Paulo!