Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigating Gatlinburg fire

(source: Oak Ridge Fire Department)

GATLINBURG (WKRN) – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has joined crews as the investigation into the massive Sevier County wildfires continues.

ATF Agent Michael Knight said the agency was called in overnight to help with the investigation. The agency is expected to comment during a news conference Thursday morning.

Seven people are dead and dozens of others were injured in the wildfire that has burned thousands of acres and destroyed at least 700 structures. Sen. Alexander, who grew up just 15 miles from Gatlinburg, is hoping to encourage those in Washington D.C. to declare the area a federal disaster.

More: The latest on the wildfires

“I would say as terrifying as this is the response has been even more remarkable,” Sen. Alexander said.

If the area is officially declared a federal disaster area, Sen. Alexander said, there could be money available for families impacted by the fires. The federal government also takes care of 75 percent of the cost of actually fighting the fires.

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