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Southern Wildfires Burn 80000 Acres Across Six States

22 November 2016

"We have not done any more evacuations", he said. Pat McCrory said at a news conference Monday.

"The goal is to keep this line intact", Stokesberry said, pointing to a narrow, winding dirt road between a burning mountainside and a pasture that, so far, has been untouched by the fire. The Party Rock fire in Chimney Rock State Park has devoured 3,457 acres and closed that park, too.

"It doesn't die down after dark", says fire Capt. Ron Thalacker, who came from Carlsbad, N.M., with a fire engine that now draws water from streams and ponds to spray on hotspots in Georgia's Rabun County, near the epicenter of the southern fires. "When it is lower, it pushes that smoke down lower and the flame heights are lower".

Asheville-based pilot Nancy Marstall said high terrain and low visibility from the smoke-filled haze is a threat to aviators' safety. Cherokee and Forsyth county officials said their firefighters recently relieved Dade County crews.

The problem worsens when the sun slips toward the western horizon, she explained, because elevations in the Shining Rock Wilderness to the west top 6,000 feet.

According to North Carolina Forest Services, the re-entry checkpoint is accessible from the Lake Lure (south) side of Highway 74-A/64, and not from the Bat Cave (north) side of these roads. He said the area hasn't had significant rainfall since the second week of August.

According to the press release, the wildfires have threatened more than 1,800 structures and investigations concerning the cause of the wildfires will continue.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has banned outdoor burning in more than half the state's counties through December 15. "That's mountain area, you've got hills, valleys, mountain terrain - the fire does different things".

Greathouse said this is leaving more residual fire than usual that more easily reignites, causing fires thought to be contained to spread and helps explain the size of some of the wildfires in the region this fall. Some fires may have been extinguished or changed size since the map was last updated.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Governor McCrory's request for financial assistance through Fire Management Assistance Grants which allow FEMA to pay for 75 percent of the emergency protective measures taken in fighting the fires including expenses for field camps; equipment use, fix and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities. By executive order, Deal expanded a Level 1 drought declaration across 110 of Georgia's 159 counties, stretching across northern Georgia and including metro Atlanta. The photographs helped emergency managers make decisions on resources and tactics, Cox said. In Alabama, at least two other incidents are being investigated for arson. Because of the wildfires, several states, such as North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky have already declared states of emergencies.