- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - A federal research team says there’s low risk of mudslides and landslides following deadly East Tennessee wildfires.

The U.S. Geological Survey says it would take four-tenths of an inch of rain in 15 minutes to cause landslides or mudslides in the burned area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That rate of rain happens there every two to five years.

The research says the most vulnerable areas are within the park, and the Gatlinburg businesses and homes bordering the park are considerably less likely to be affected by a landslide or mudslide.

The USGS Landslide Hazards Program study is the first ever hazard assessment of an Eastern wildfire.

On Nov. 28, gale-force winds spread wildfires to the Gatlinburg area, killing 14 people and destroying or damaging thousands of buildings.

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