Wildfire Burning in SC Getting Under Control, say Officials

An extreme drought over the last several months pushed North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency Thursday for 25 counties in the western part of the state.

"We have California wildfires in North Carolina", he said. Kannapolis firefighters left around 4 a.m. Saturday and have since then been assigned to the Lake Lure/Chimney Rock area to protect homes that are in the path of the fire.

Evacuations were ordered in a sixth North Carolina mountain county on Saturday and masks were handed out while at least 20 wildfires continue to burn.

Rockslides are also threatening areas and weather forecasters say rain won't fall in the wildfire areas.

A forest fire on Lookout Mountain that has burned through more than 750 acres was declared contained on Sunday.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to North Carolina to fight the Party Rock Fire burning in Rutherford and Buncombe counties. "The western edge of the fire moved further downhill overnight off Round Top Mountain and was at the woods line in some areas of Chimney Rock Village".

It was 40 percent contained Monday, and authorities estimated that they'd be able to halt its advance by mid-week. Officials closed a 10-mile section of USA 19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge, saying the Tellico Fire could cause rocks and debris to fall.

The number of crews working on the wildfires has grown significantly in the last two days. On Friday, Ezzell said the flames had reached more than 500 acres, and teams were going to try a risky burnout operation. While the state Forestry Commission is offering assistance, Holmes said the risk of fires here is too great to send local firefighters out of state.

De la Calle described the text of the modified accord as "much better" than the previous one, but didn't say if or how it would be submitted to a new referendum.

Forecasters warned that smoky conditions could reduce visibilities across north-central and northeast Alabama to 3 to 5 miles Sunday night, and a few spots could see visibilities reduced to 1 mile. "Nothing more than a sprinkle out west, so that won't help matters at all", said WNCN Meteorologist Bill Reh said Sunday.

The fires have been fueled by weeks of mostly sunny and dry conditions. The Maple Springs fire has burned 7,177 acres and the Old Roughy fire has burned 657.

He said on Sunday there were still some logs on fire.