WATAUGA COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - A wildfire in the mountains near Blowing Rock continues to grow, threatening homes. Evacuation orders are in place as crews try to bring the fire under control.
"Officials say the Horton Fire started around 7:00 last night and is currently still burning around 700 to 800 acres on top of the mountain that you see behind me. That cloud is actually smoke and officials say they are going to be battling this fire throughout the night."
Firefighters watched Tuesday as smoke billowed from a mountain top just outside of Blowing Rock.
The Horton Fire is currently threatening 55 homes, forcing evacuations, and bringing in more than 100 firefighters from nearby counties.
The fire started on Monday night and spread rapidly through dry brush.
"We did see some torching of groups of trees so at times it has been pretty intense."
A command post has been set up and fire crews are standing by near homes to prevent damage. So far, there has been no structure damage. Firefighters have also setup a containment line, that could allow the fire to grow to more than 1,000 acres.
"The fire is expected to grow in the next 24 hours and that is due to fire expansion that will be within the perimeter of the fire."
An emergency shelter was opened for those who have been evacuated but the American Red Cross said as of 3 p.m. Tuesday no one has come to the shelter.
The cause of this wildfire remains under investigation.