Gatlinburg Wildfires: Fees Dropped Towards Youths Accused Of Arson

The massive Gatlinburg wildfires, which began in November, caused the deaths of 14 people , injured 175 others and destroyed homes and towns all around eastern Tennessee.
Story highlights Two juveniles were accused of starting devastating fires in Tennessee last yearDistrict attorney says heavy winds were primary cause fires spread outside park(CNN) The prosecution dropped all charges Friday against two juveniles who were accused of starting last year’s deadly wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Damage was estimated at more than $500 million, according to Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters.
Instead, District Attorney James Dunn said the “unprecedented, unexpected and unforeseeable wind” was the primary reason a fire at Chimney Tops II, an area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spread outside the park into nearby Gatlinburg.
“But for the winds that reached speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour, it is highly unlikely and improbable that the Chimney Tops II fire would have left the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and reached Gatlinburg,” District Attorney James Dunn said in a statement.

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