National News

Charges dropped against juveniles accused of setting Gatlinburg wildfires

Posted June 30

Prosecutors said Friday that they have dropped the charges against two juveniles who were accused of starting the Gatlinburg wildfires that left a trail of destruction through multiple states, including part of North Carolina.

The fires blew into the city of Gatlinburg on Nov. 28 on gusts around 87 miles per hour that knocked down power lines and started other fires.

The wildfires caused more than $500 million in damage as they tore through a tourism community in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and killed 14 people.

The fires harmed more than 2,400 buildings in the Gatlinburg area, including more than 2,100 homes and almost 60 businesses destroyed, officials have said. For the first time since the fires, Gatlinburg officially reopened to the public Friday, and its main downtown district was largely unharmed.

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