Wetter weather helps firefighters in western NC blazes

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Pictures from the forest fires ongoing in Chimney Rock from Gastonia Fire Department  -- Personnel on scene battling fires along with other agencies

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Firefighters say higher humidity is helping them fight and contain more than a dozen wildfires across western North Carolina.

The state Forest Service said in a news release most of the rain across central and eastern North Carolina on Sunday won't make it to the mountains.

But the agency says more moist air over the area should give firefighters a chance to make significant progress.

Officials closed a 10-mile section of U.S. 19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge because they worry the Tellico Fire will cause rocks and debris to fall.

The Tellico Fire is the largest blaze in the state, covering 21 square miles in Macon and Swain counties. It is about 33 percent contained.

Firefighters say the fire danger will rise as drier weather returns and more leaves fall.