Huge areas of east Tennessee, where Chesney grew up, were ravaged by the blaze, which prompted mass evacuations and the brief closure of Parton's Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge.

Dolly launched the My People Fund to raise funds for those affected by the fires as she reopened her tourist attraction on 2 December (16), and her goddaughter Miley Cyrus has already pledged to support the cause through her Happy Hippie Foundation.

Now Chesney, who will take part in a telethon for the victims of the blaze on Friday (09Dec16), has spoken out to urge his fans to give generously to Dolly's new initiative.

The Setting the World on Fire singer has shared a video message with fans, in which he states, "I just want to say to everybody in east Tennessee and to everybody back where I come from in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, that I am thinking about you.

"I am loving you really hard right now. East Tennessee is my heart and my soul, and how I grew up. And I realise now that everybody over there is hurting. I want you to know that you're in my thoughts and in my prayers and along with a lot of other people's help, we're going to try everything we can to try and make this better.

"I've been thinking about my hometown and east Tennessee. My heart is with all of you that are hurting. Please take a second to help if you can."

Launching her My People Fund last week, Parton said, "We want to provide a hand up to those families who have lost everything in the fires. I know it has been a trying time for my people and this assistance will help get them back on their feet."

The Smoky Mountain Wildfires Telethon on Friday will also feature appearances from Dolly, Luke Bryan, and Brad Paisley.

The stars will take over Nashville's fabled Studio B for the three-hour NBC broadcast, which will also feature sets by John Rich, Kristian Bush and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine with his daughter, country singer Electra.

Parton will stage a second charity telethon on 13 December (16).