A scorched vehicle sits next to a burned out building in Gatlinburg, Tenn., on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The fatal fires swept over the tourist town the night before, causing widespread damage. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
The mayor of Gatlinburg says officials are discussing re-opening the city later this week after wildfires forced the evacuation of thousands of residents and tourists.
Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said Wednesday that the resort mountain city may re-open Friday so business owners can assess the damage and hopefully begin paying their employees again.
He says the evacuation orders must remain in place until then because there are still areas that haven't been searched and places where power lines are down.
The wildfires killed four people and injured dozens more.
While most of the downtown area is intact, some resort and residential areas were completely destroyed by the fire that forced most of the city to leave.