Two juveniles charged with arson in deadly East Tennessee wildfires

Email a Friend
Smoke plumes from wildfires are shown in the Great Smokey Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Photo taken Nov. 28, 2016. Photo courtesy of National Park Services/Handout via Reuters

Two juveniles were charged with arson on Wednesday in connection to the deadly wildfires in Tennessee’s Great Smokey Mountains last week. Photo courtesy of National Park Services/Handout via Reuters

Two juveniles have been charged with arson in connection to the fatal wildfires that swept through East Tennessee last week, a state law enforcement agency said on Wednesday.

During an investigation into the wildfires, “information was developed that two juveniles allegedly started the fire,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a press release.

The agency did not release more details on the suspects or the investigation, which is ongoing. The two juveniles were charged with aggravated arson and are being held at the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Center, the agency said.

The wildfires killed 14 people and left roughly 150 people injured.

The Chimney Tops 2 fire started on Nov. 23 and swept through 17,000 acres inside of and around Great Smokey Mountains National Park, the nation’s most-visited national park. The fire has been roughly 64 percent contained, officials said on Wednesday.

A second blaze, the Cobbly Nob fire, started on Nov. 28 and is 67 percent contained, officials said. That fire burned nearly 900 acres.

More than 1,700 homes were destroyed or damaged in the fires.

The post Two juveniles charged with arson in deadly East Tennessee wildfires appeared first on PBS NewsHour.