McCrory expands State of Emergency to 22 more counties for wildfires

A State of Emergency has been declared for 47 counties in North Carolina as a result of wildfires burning more than 69,000 acres in the western part of the state.

Gov. Pat McCrory first issued the emergency on Thursday morning, November 10, for 25 counties stating that the declaration will help "help facilitate evacuations" and provide additional assets to combat the fires. 

"As eastern North Carolina was underwater due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew, the western part of the state has been suffering from severe drought and now hundreds of acres are burning," said Gov. McCrory. 

McCrory added 22 more counties to the list on Wednesday, November 23.

The State of Emergency is in effect for the following counties:

Alexander County

Alleghany County

Anson County

Ashe County

Avery County

Buncombe County

Burke County

Cabarrus County

Caldwell County

Caswell County

Catawba County

Cherokee County

Clay County

Cleveland County 

Davidson County

Davie County

Forsyth County

Gaston County

Graham County

Guilford County

Haywood County

Henderson County

Iredell County

Jackson County

Lincoln County 

Macon County

Madison County

McDowell County

Mecklenburg County

Mitchell County

Montgomery County

Polk County

Randolph County

Richmond County

Rockingham County

Rowan County

Rutherford County

Stanly County

Stokes County

Surry County

Swain County

Transylvania County

Union County

Watauga County

Wilkes County

Yadkin County

Yancey County

Related: About 100 homes evacuated due to wildfires

Watch as wildfires burn off of Lake Lure. Video courtesy: ResortCams. App users ">click here.

The N.C. Forest Service has issued a burning ban on all open burning and canceled burning permits in the counties listed above.

Related: Wildfires continue to burn in western North Carolina

Evacuations have been ordered in Clay, Graham, Macon, Rutherford and Swain counties.

Related: Lincoln, Catawba counties issue burning ban due to dry conditions

Forest wildfires have been burning in counties that are experiencing extreme drought.U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Emergency Management's Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team has deployed a N.C. National Guard Blackhawk helicopter and local rescue technicians to perform any rescues necessary from wildfire fighting operations.

Governor McCrory reminded the public that the state is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for setting wildfires. Anyone with information about these wildfires should contact Macon County Crimestoppers at 828-349-2600 or Jackson County Crimestoppers at 828-631-1125.