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. Teller

    OK let's blame illegal immigrants. I lived in Pender County in the late 70's. There were massive fires then.

    June 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. laural

    Stop making EVERY FRIGGIN HEADLINE into a BLOG!!

    June 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tired

    Only if your name is John McCain can you blame THESE wildfires on illegal immigrants. Still, I hope the people of NC are ok.

    June 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I've had wonderful times all over North Carolina since I was 14, pretending to be 15 so I could go to a conference.
    The citizens of NC are wonderful until they drive behind you on a mountain road that they know.
    I have close friends that live there, far from the fires.
    What a beautiful state!

    June 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ laural:
    Why do you think that CNN offers us this board?
    Do you think that it's so we can figure out what to do about newsworthy events so that the network can advise government leaders?

    June 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Believer

    I live in Pender County, NC. I have been worried about this since it started. I hope they put it out soon!

    June 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jessyca

    Thanks for listing the 29 counties, not like I have family there or anything.

    June 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ken

    So true Joe, isn't that the State Deliverance was set in?

    June 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      That was in Georgia retard

      June 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • iminim

      It was filmed at the Chatooga River on the SC/Ga border.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    I don't know why CNN gives us this board. My guess is because they want to get a general idea of public opinion.

    June 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bosko

      They get paid two cents by advertisers for each post. Didn't you notice all the ads on the sideboards??? They aren't put there for free. You should be reading them if you post to pay for the privilege..

      June 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lisa

    maybe most people who have human emotions? I care. I live in eastern NC and work and live in the areas involving the smoke this week. I care. There are a lot of people who care. If you don't then why did you bother reading the article and making a stupid comment?

    June 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Coupon Cook

    @Tired the wildfires were probably started by illegals. Even the officials didn't feel McCain's remark was off. Let me ask, have you seen your childhood home overrun by Mexican & Guatemalan gang wars? Have you had personal experience to see just how illegals crap on what was once good? I take it that you haven't. Have you had experience with their "culture" which says crap where you eat and then move on because someone else will clean it up? No, it doesn't seem that you have. I support the idea that it was most likely someone "crossing the border" who started those wildfires. Hopefully that fire bit them in the rear so that their inevitable offspring can't compete with mine.

    June 25, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Cesar:
    I agree that this board is probably a form of polling.
    I think it's a release of multiple trial balloons.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. felton

    Perdue,
    the U.S. Anti Flooding System can help these types of scenarios as described by ASKFMB.COM
    http://www.askfmb.com/Newsfiles/antifloodsystem.html

    contact askfmb.com, get details, we need to get this system started, and create a lot of jobs.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Given that the board may be to gather samples of public opinion, our relaxed conversation facilitates the openness of expression.
    In vino veritas.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. obama

    probably was those illegals that's a ploy they start fires to distract everyone so they can cross

    June 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
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