Prosecutors drop charges on 2 youths for fatal wildfires in Tennessee

Aftermath from the wildfires in Gatlinburg Tennessee, Photo Date: 11/30/16 (MGN)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two juveniles are no longer charged with starting the Tennessee wildfires that killed 14 people in November.

District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said in a statement on Friday that prosecutors can't prove the youth were responsible because there were other factors contributing to the fire's seriousness, such as 80-mph winds and downed power lines that ignited flames.

In December, Dunn announced charges of aggravated arson against the juveniles in connection with the deadly fire.

Dunn said the youths were initially charged with causing a fire in the Chimney Tops area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park that blew into Gatlinburg, ravaging the vacation town.

Defense attorney Gregory Isaacs said Friday that the evidence showed the juveniles didn't cause the death and devastation.

Dunn also cited jurisdiction issues within the federal park.

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