Eastern Tennessee suffered a significant drought for several months. The weather certainly did not cause the devastating fire throughout much of Sevier County but did contribute to the severity, along with high winds. More than 14,000 people had to be evacuated from the Gatlinburg area and nearby in Pigeon Forge. Thousands of acres of property was lost, along with 14 lives, and many displaced -- along with the lives of many animals. About 2,400 structures were damaged or destroyed. Authorities now believe that two juveniles are responsible for the devastation.

One survivor’s view of the fires

A survivor of the wildfires stated that they were in a nightmare that was propelled swiftly by high winds exceeding 87 miles an hour. Embers from the fires were flung up to a mile as a result. Some other residents in the devastated areas did not receive evacuation notices until it was nearly too late and the fires passed their city limits. Rains finally came through to reduce any further spread of the fires, although some are still soldering and being managed by firefighters.

The authorities ask public for help regarding the fires

Early on in the investigation, authorities suspected the East Tennessee wildfires were the result of arson by humans. They hoped to get the public’s help in cracking the case, as stated by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The officials at the park made the announcement to reporters, saying "If you or someone you know hiked the Chimney Tops Trail on Wednesday, November 23, please contact the investigative team." This past week, it was announced that a couple of juveniles were brought in and are currently being charged with aggravated arson.

Since the suspects are minors, their names, ages, and genders are not being disclosed. Although the suspects are from Tennessee, it was noted that they are not from Sevier County.

As reported by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, countless hours have gone into this case, and the investigation is still ongoing. The prosecutor is thinking of charging the two juveniles as adults in the case due to the severity.

More charges and suspects are possible.

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