Zinke: Soon-to-released report on 2016 fires at Great Smoky Mountains NP will result in improved response next time

GATLINBURG — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said the National Park Service could have done some things better on battling the Nov. 28 wildfire and vowed to do what it takes to make sure a devastating fire doesn’t happen again here.

“I’m convinced people participating in it did as good as they could,” he said during a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday. “A lot of people tried to do the right thing. Unfortunately, we lost some lives and had 2,500 structures destroyed."

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