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. Van

    After reading the comments on this story one can only think that they all must be relatives of Forest Gump

    June 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    Age quod agis.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus Aurelius

      Memor tua rei.

      June 26, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • homer

      DOH!

      June 26, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. TheWrathOfGod

    Wow. These fires all seem to be popping up in Red States. God must be mad at the GOP.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • GoGetEmTiger

      The blue states are being rewarded with gay marriage?

      June 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bada BOOM!

      "Gay marriage" – I like it. Should be an exclamation point instead of a question mark though.

      June 26, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Joshua

      NC went for Obama.

      June 26, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • A North Carolinian Democrat

      NC voted for a Democrat for President. NC also has a Democrat as a Governor. With the exception of the current classification and the state legislature being primarily Republican, we are leaning towards a Blue state.

      June 26, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      You will have to answer to God for such ridiculous thoughts ya know

      June 26, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      NC went to Obama; hopefully we've learned something.

      June 26, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kimberly

    Really, Joe, was that comment necessary? Amazing what people will write hiding behind a keyboard.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    I prefer original over crispy chicken at KFC.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tired

    @Coupon:
    First of all, it was a joke, a topical one.
    You do not know me, nor do you know what I have lived through. Do not pretend that whatever you have gone through is any more valid than anyone else.
    Furthermore, you turning a practically yearly event into a tirade against the latino population, legal or not, is absolutely reprehensible.
    And that is NO joke.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    @Joe:
    I care.
    It doesn't matter what State these occur in; they are a danger to all.
    Please show a little empathy.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Emily

    Wow some of you people are ill informed. I have lived in NC all of my life and it is a wonderful state!! It has nothing to do with republicans...lol Bottom Line is we need prayers.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mikey

    @Emily. NC doesn't need prayers, just more firemen.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mamacat118

      @Mikey - how about prayers and firefighters and prayers for the firefighters

      June 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. meee

    CNN sucks these boards suck and with the exception of me every poster sucks

    June 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Look in the mirror

      ... and YOU are at the top of the list.

      June 26, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    I live in Wilmington and traveled to visit my parents just yesterday in Jacksonville... that route leads straight through the Pender Co. areas which are most affected by these fires. The smoke was dense, but not unbearable. No mandatory evacuations have been ordered; shelters were set up but nobody came. Local authorities are reporting now that it is 20% contained and improving. Also, it was started by lightning. We have had a dry few weeks and that was the main problem.

    We get these things occassionally; this one just happens to be one of the bigger ones.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jess

    fyi to all u bigots out there these fires were sparked by lightening strikes. One that occurred over a month ago and another last week or so. So get your facts straight and quit looking for easy scapegoats for natural disasters. Every single citizen of this country is a descendant of an immigrant unless u r a native american, so quit complaining. So tired of racist ignorant jerks always being heard and the rest of us level headed americans left apologizing for their stupidity.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      My family roots have been in NC a VERY long time (Blount). But I was born in America – so why am I not a native american? I think they should change that description to original american or something more appropriate. Sometimes I find those descriptions useless. Like African-American. If I had been born in Africa and moved here, I'd be an African-American, but one wouldn't immediately think so because my skin color is white. We seem to put these labels on people based on skin color rather than true origins of the individual person. I don't have a thoroughly thought out solution - just musing.

      June 26, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'm sick of racism too. I get called a racist here frequently, usually for advocating excellence.
    I ask my friends to read my responses to jealousy-motivated attacks under Lybian soccer, posted just before this late hour.
    I'm up late on a Saturday night because I usually have to play an afternoon recital somewhere on Sundays.
    This is becoming a place that's not safe for me, and I'm a good fighter.

    June 26, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Big Game James

    Racists eat a d!ck!!

    June 26, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joey R

    @ Marcus Aurelius:
    Grazie.

    June 26, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
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