Trapped by Wildfire

By Rebecca Gerben '97

When I arrived at the TV station for work, the newsroom was abuzz with activity. “You need to change into hiking clothes,” my assignment editor told me. “The wildfire in the mountains is threatening nearby homes.”

Autumn is peak time for forest fires in the Southeast. For several days in October 2000, I had checked on the various fires in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area and written short updates for the newscasts. I craved the excitement of a breaking story. I quickly changed my clothes and met up with Paul, the photographer I would be working with that night.…

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