Tennessee officials have charged two teenagers with starting the fire that burned 17,000 acres in and near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, killed 14 people, injured almost 150 others and destroyed more than 1,700 structures.
Two teenagers have been arrested on charges of starting the fire that eventually grew to consume parts of Sevier County.
The juveniles are being held in the Sevier County Juvenile Justice Center.
The Sevier County fires came near the end of a disastrous year for fires in Tennessee, in which 1,427 blazes have spanned 44,027 acres to date.
Dunn said the pair were from Tennessee but not from Sevier County, where the wildfire began.
Juneau spent the Thanksgiving holiday in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Gatlinburg.
As KXAN (Austin) reported at the time, several dozen such tourists were trapped inside a Gatlinburg hotel when the fires were at their worst. It's no exaggeration when I say that these folks are as good as it gets. Visitors are required to remain in their vehicles when passing through the burned areas and should not enter any burned areas by foot.
The fire started November 23 in the Chimney Tops area and turned deadly five days later, when flames engulfed Gatlinburg, killing 14, injuring more than 175 and damaging at least 2,400 structures.
"The past eleven days have been the most challenging and emotional days our community has likely ever had to endure", said Superintendent Cassius Cash.
The investigation into the cause of the fires is still ongoing.
Steve Closter, head of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (responsible for finding the culprits), has ensured that justice is priority in this tragic loss.
Local tourism officials are reinforcing the message that the vacation destination's many attractions, theatres, restaurants and lodging properties are operating as usual after recent wildfires in the area, urging travelers who have reservations to not cancel. Rainfall has helped reduce the fire's spread, and fire crews hope for more rain to come. Transferring the teens to adult court is also under consideration, Dunn said.
"We don't know", he said.
The center is set to open Monday at the former Belz Factory Mall on Teaster Lane and will be open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.to 6 p.m.