Two juveniles were charged with aggravated arson in connection with the deadly Tennessee wildfire that killed 14 people. The fire, which began on 23 November, spread across 17,000 acres.
In a news release, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the teenagers were taken into custody and were being held at the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Centre.
The 4th District Attorney General James Dunn said that additional charges against the teenagers were being considered, as well as the possibility of seeking a transfer to adult criminal court.
Dunn said the pair were from Tennessee but not from Sevier County, where the wildfire began. CNN reported that neither their ages nor genders were released.
"I understand that you have a lot of questions," Dunn told reporters, according to The Washington Post. "However, the law does not allow for the disclosure of addition information at this time."
Officials said that 14 people were killed and more than 175 more were injured. According to CNN, both residents and visitors to the resort-heavy area were among the dead.
Fire officials reported that as of Wednesday (7 December), the fire was 82% contained. "Even though the fire is not 100% contained, the areas opening to the public have been deemed safe," a report on the InciWeb website announced.
The popular tourist destination in eastern Tennessee is home to the resort town of Pigeon Forge and Dollywood amusement park. According to The Post, the fire left more than 1,750 structures damaged or destroyed. Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said the devastation was "unfathomable."