Officials have declared a state of emergency in a western North Carolina community where a wildfire has burned hundreds of acres, some structures and now is threatening dozens of homes.
Crews are fighting several separate blazes in forested areas of Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky as wide swaths of those states face moderate to severe drought conditions and warmer than normal temperatures.
The 431-acre fire in Henderson County, North Carolina, has destroyed two homes, a cabin and an outbuilding, county officials said in a social media post Sunday that declared a state of emergency.
Officials have identified 75 other structures that are threatened and said fire departments are focusing on structure protection while North Carolina Forest Services is focusing on putting in fire lines.
Meanwhile, crews are fighting a blaze in Cherokee County that has grown to more than 2,100 acres, but is not threatening structures, the US Forest Service said.
The North Carolina Forest Service issued a burn ban Sunday for 14 counties in the western part of the state due to hazardous forest fire conditions and said it would stay in effect until further notice.
“Several counties in Western North Carolina are currently in a severe drought, and we are seeing wildfire activity increase due to dry conditions. Because dry conditions are expected to continue this burn ban is necessary to reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading quickly,” the statement said.
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