North Carolina joins a growing list of states grappling with the escalating wildfire. A burn ban is currently in effect for 30 counties, and firefighters from across the region are mobilizing to combat three significant blazes in the western part of the state.
Fire departments within our viewing area are actively engaged in the firefighting efforts. Crews from Hillsborough are currently on the ground, while firefighters from Rocky Mount are set to deploy on Thursday.
The North Carolina Forest Service blames careless debris burning for the state’s current wildfire crisis, prompting the declaration of a state of emergency.
As wildfires continue to burn for days in western counties, including Hendersonville, firefighters are battling the fire from the air and on the ground.
“Drought is statewide but more severe in the western part of the state,” said Philip Jackson, North Carolina Forest Service.
Philip Jackson with the NC Forest Service says some progress has been made.
“We’ve been successful in holding the fire in 431 acres footprint over last few days,” Jackson said.
While significant progress has been made, there’s still a long way to go in containing the wildfires. Local fire departments are stepping in to provide much-needed support to the ongoing efforts.
The fire chief from Orange Rural Fire Department told WRAL that four firefighters and two trucks have been on the ground since Monday, battling the wildfires raging in western North Carolina.
In addition, the Rocky Mount Fire Department plans to send four firefighters and a truck on Thursday to join the firefighting efforts.
“It’s difficult to get water in the area,” Jackson said. “It’s hard to get vehicles in the area.”
North Carolina officials are urging all residents, even those in areas not directly affected by the burn ban, to exercise extreme caution when engaging in any outdoor burning activities.
“Response-when things are this dry right now,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t take much for the smallest ignition to spread into a large-scale, intense wildfire.”
State officials say they will continue assessing weather conditions to see if the ban needs to be extended.
Many fire crews keep their eyes on the skies, waiting for rainfall.