Emergency declared in North Carolina as wildfires rage
More than 300 fire departments have been deployed against wildfires that have burned 70,000 acres in North Carolina.
June 25th, 2011
05:38 PM ET

Emergency declared in North Carolina as wildfires rage

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency Saturday for 29 counties as crews battled wildfires that have consumed more than 70,000 acres.

“I want to assure residents of North Carolina that the state Division of Forest Resources and its partnering agencies are working hard to contain the fires in Eastern North Carolina,” Perdue said in a statement on her website.

The emergency order means North Carolina can receive aid from federal authorities as well as other states.

Authorities are contending with several blazes, including one in the Alligator River Nature Preserve in Dare County spanning about 50,000 acres, CNN affiliate WRAL in Raleigh reported Saturday.

Blazes in Pender and Bladen counties burned more than 22,000 acres, WRAL reported.

Twelve counties were under an air quality alert because of “fine particulates” circulating in the wind, according to the state’s Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.

The agency issued a Code Purple alert –- very unhealthy –-  for the weekend in coastal communities due to the blazes.

“Some of the highest particle pollution levels that (the state Division of Air Quality) has ever measured were in smoke plumes from wildfires,” the agency said on its website. “Fine particles can penetrate deeply into the lungs and be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing or aggravating heart and lung diseases."

The governor said the U.S. Forest Service Incident Management Team was working with more than 300 federal, local and volunteer fire departments to contain the blazes, which have been caused by drought and high winds.

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Filed under: Fire • North Carolina
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Thanks, Doc.
    I missed the Joe post.

    June 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Connie Smith

    Sigh, please CNN GIVE ALL THE FACTS LIST THE COUNTIES. Don't just put a blurb of a teaser. REPORT the news don't tantalize. I live in North Carolina and would like to know if I can expect fire. Extremely dissapointed in your continual sensationalism instead of accurate reporting. I may as well read my news from England's' BBC to actually know what is happening in America. CNN you've become that UNRELIABLE.

    June 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. garrymoore

    hi to all news.blogs.cnn.comers this is my frst post and thought i would say hi –
    thank yous speak soon

    November 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
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