Smoke from wildfires cause smokey scene, smell in the Lowcountry

The growth of the fire has caused fire managers and town officials to revise the noon-announced mandatory evacuation for portions of Chimney Rock and the Lake Lure communities. On Thursday, Governor McCrory declared a State of Emergency for 25 counties in that part of the state including Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties.

More than 20 wildfires continue to burn across the Appalachian Mountains as dry conditions and wind make the job even more hard for firefighters.

The fire threat that officials have been warning about for weeks has become real for thousands of residents in several southern states including Tennessee and Kentucky.

Burning bans remain in effect across western North Carolina. Justin Upchurch of the Rabun County Fire Department said the fires were likely started with human intervention.

Regional aviation director Shardul Raval of the U.S. Forest Service said Thursday that effort includes about 40 aircraft, and three large air tankers are flying out of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"As eastern North Carolina was underwater due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew, the western part of the state has been suffering from a severe drought and now hundreds of acres are burning", said Governor McCrory. He said the declaration will help with evacuations and provide more state assets to fight the wildfires and support those who were evacuated. Those in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg are under the ban which prohibits outdoor burning including yard debris, and burning for forestry, wildlife or agricultural purposes. "We also have responded to and extinguished 29 fires yesterday and this morning in the North Georgia area", he said.

One of the largest blazes was spreading rapidly in the Cohutta Wilderness area just south of the Georgia-Tennessee line.

Homes in Lake Lure also were evacuated earlier this week.

Most of the large fires Thursday are being fought in Tennessee and Kentucky.

The national drought report shows 41.6 million people in parts of 15 Southern states living in drought conditions.

He says the wildfires already burned up to 6,200 acres in Bledsoe, Hamilton, Monroe and Sequatchie counties in the past month, and 53 fires are now burning over almost 9,680 acres in Tennessee.