“We are saddened to know that so many lost so much, and we hope that our contribution can help make a very tragic situation more manageable as they rebuild their lives,” Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation.
The funds will be managed by the National Park Service Employees and Alumni Trust Fund. A gift from Humana, which has a community location in Knoxville, made the donation possible.
The area is still recovering from fires that burned 17,140 acres in Sevier County, Tennessee, after underage arsonists set fires at the Chimney Tops inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The resulting firestorm, fueled by extreme winds and dry weather, caused 14 deaths, injured 190 people, damaged 2,500 structures and cost $500 million in damage.