State, national firefighters work to contain wildfires in NC mountains

North Carolina news

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – Firefighters are working to slow the spread of western North Carolina wildfires that have spread due to high winds.

The U.S. Forest Service said on Saturday that a fire that began on private property Friday in Haywood County expanded to the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of Pisgah National Forest, covering 50 acres.  

Another fire covering 30 acres in Macon County also began on private property and expanded to the Nantahala National Forest.

The fire in the Shining Rock Wilderness area — the larger of the two currently active in the mountains — is known as The Camp Daniel Boone Fire which started on private property off Little East Fork Road in Haywood County Friday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service said.

“NC Forest Service helicopters and air tankers made multiple water drops (Friday) to try to slow the spread of the fire,” officials said.

The Macon County fire — called the Cals Creek Fire — is now also burning on U.S. Forest Service land in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest. About 25 firefighters from the N.C. Forest Service and U.S. Forest Service are responding. A N.C. Forest Service helicopter was used for water drops Friday.

The North Carolina Forest Service has ordered an open fire ban in 32 western north Carolina counties due to the hazardous conditions.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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