Everything You Need To Know About the North Carolina Wildfires

North Carolina has been lit recently…literally.

According to the Charlotte Observer, 47,000 (and growing) acres of wildfires are burning across the western North Carolina Mountains. Smoke and haze from the fires are drifting over to the eastern part of the state. The fires are caused from an exceptionally dry spring and summer season. According to the U.S. drought monitor, a third of the state is in a drought. Some are blaming the fires on climate change and arson. Roughly 30 percent of the fires are contained.

Fortunately, no one has lost their life, however, many are being told to evacuate as 1,800 buildings are being threatened. Authorities have told residents near the Asheville area to flee due to the fires.

Roughly 2,000 emergency crew workers are fighting the blazes, but that isn’t enough. Firefighters from all around the state of North Carolina, including Watauga County, are being called to the fires to help.

The blanket of smoke across the state is causing air quality concerns. People across the western part of the state could experience unhealthy air quality conditions, while people in the Charlotte area are under a moderately unhealthy air quality advisory. Fortunately for Watauga County, the smoke is staying minimal. Other towns aren't so lucky, as the picture below shows Franklin, NC, a town close to some of the fires.

But just because the fires are a relative distance away from Boone doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be worried. The smoke can drift in any direction depending on the change of wind direction. Gov. Pat McCrory urges people to limit their outdoor activities. As of November 10, Gov. McCrory declared a state of emergency for North Carolina.

The North Carolina Forest Service has also taken measures to ban all open burning. Many are calling this the worst wildfires in North Carolina history.

It is going to be a while until all the fires in western North Carolina are fully contained. Many counties in North Carolina will stay “at risk” far into the winter months.

 

Sources: 

http://wildfiretoday.com/tag/north-carolina/

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article114521978.html

http://governor.nc.gov/press-release/governor-mccrory-declares-state-eme...