Tennessee native Dolly Parton will give $1,000 per month to the families who have lost their homes in the Tennessee fires that have killed at least seven people since it started.
The donations will come from Dollywood Foundation, and the support will be given for six months.
The newly established "My People Fund" will be utilizing donations that have been given online plus Dolly Parton's other business interests. In a video statement that was released on her website, Parton has stated .
"I have always believed that charity begins at home. And that's why I've asked my Dollywood Companies including the Dollywood Theme Park; the DreamMore Resort; my dinner theater attractions including Dixie Stampede and Lumberjack Adventure; plus my Dollywood Foundation to help me establish a 'My People Fund.' .
We want to provide a hand up to all those families that have lost everything in the fires. And to recover, we want to make sure that the Dollywood Foundation provides $1,000 a month to all of those families that have lost their homes in the fires until they get back up on their feet. I know it has been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help."
Dolly Parton grew up in Sevier County , Tennessee, and the foundation will be supporting families from that area.
The Tennessee wildfires have now claimed 13 lives as it continues its devastation of the area. There were claims that cell phones were not able to receive an evacuation order given but it was disputed by the county officials. Almost 1,000 structures have been razed by the fire which resulted to more than 14,000 people be evacuated and 17,000 acres of land, most of them in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to be reduced to ashes.
Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller has said a news conference that the fire spread due to the strong winds which brought the embers from the park to the towns near it.
"We had trees going down everywhere, power lines, all those power lines were just like lighting a match because of the extreme drought conditions. So we went from nothing to over 20-plus structure fires in a matter of minutes," Miller said.
Some of the victims whose names were released were Jon and Janet Summers, Jon and Janet Tegler from Canada, and May Vance who died due to a heart attack after inhaling smoke.