2 juveniles charged in Tennessee wildfires that killed 14
Dec 14 2016
As the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee begin the recovery process following the November 28 wildfires, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevier County, Tennessee tourism officials have united to reinforce a strong message delivered by Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner.
At a Wednesday news conference, 4th District Attorney General James Dunn announced the arrests of the two youths.
Officials ask that anyone who finds lost animals to bring them to the Sevier County fairgrounds, where they are still housing pets.
The fires have been centered in Sevier County just east of Knoxville and have damaged or destroyed more than 1,750 structures, local and federal authorities said in a statement.
The fires also attracted extra press thanks to the proximity of Dollywood, a theme park named after and partially owned by Dolly Parton. The fires were a backdrop of orange-red and angry, licking flames which reportedly ascended a mile, only to splash to the ground and create new tongues.
Gatlinburg's spirit remains unbroken by the tragedy, Mayor Mike Werner said.
During the coming days, a judge will determine whether to grant the two bond and - if so - how much.
The teens could be charged as adults, pending an ongoing investigation. About 40 lost pets have been matched with their owners and the shelter is posting photos of found animals on social media in hopes they'll be able to reunite more of them.
I have friends and former colleagues who live in Sevier County, and I know many people in that area.
"But for a grown adult, I would be inclined to think we need to do something", Faison says. "We're working hard to open up the city, get people back to work and start making memories again for the millions of families that love to visit Gatlinburg".
Not long afterward, the fires had reached the neighboring resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.