(CNN) - The toll of the wildfires that ravaged Gatlinburg,Tennessee, in recent weeks is staggering: 14 people dead, another 175 injured, and more than 2,400 houses, businesses and other structures destroyed.
Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters estimates the damage to be more than $500 million. The federal government says nearly 20,000 acres of Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been scorched.s the full extent of the catastrophic damage reveals itself, authorities -- who early on suspected arson -- said the blaze was man-made.
Or, more aptly, juvenile-made.
Two Tennessee youths are sitting in a Sevier County detention center.
If convicted of aggravated arson, they could go to prison for 60 years.
If more serious charges, including first-degree murder, are levied against them and they are convicted, they could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
But, for some in Gatlinburg, it won't matter.
"If in fact they did set the fire, and they did it on purpose," began Kent Emmons, whose home was destroyed, "I cannot think of a punishment severe enough for them."