For weeks, dozens of wildfires have plagued Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.
(AP Photo/John Bazemore). A firefighter battles a wildfire Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Clayton, Ga. Additionally, gusty winds from the southwest will start Thursday and could push the fire to the north and northeast toward Weed Patch Mountain and the Gray Rock community.
Wildfires continue to burn and grow over 45,000 acres of western North Carolina, causing more than 1,000 residents to evacuate their homes.
Fire officials said the largest active wildfire in the South has now burned more than 19,000 acres in the north Georgia mountains - an area larger than New York's Manhattan. "Wake County is actively doing its part to help our colleagues get these fires under control".
Eight members of the Durham Fire Department left Durham early Thursday to assist with the Party Rock Fire burning near Lake Lure.
"The goal is to keep this line intact", Stokesberry said, pointing to a narrow, winding dirt road between a burning mountainside and a pasture that, so far, has been untouched by the fire.
He also thanked volunteers, like Missy Freeman, who are feeding firefighters. "It shows a good brotherhood helping out neighbors".
Tuscaloosa and Birmingham have both tied or broken records for days without measurable rain; neither has had more than sprinkles since late September.
Emergency agencies urge the public to call 911 only if they see thick, black smoke (indicative of an active fire) or flames in a particular area.
Authorities have arrested two men in separate arson cases as Tennessee fends off wildfires that have burned more than 16,000 acres in the eastern end of the state. "Visibility has been bad - today it's much better". Crews are focusing on structure protection and triage, the release said.
"It's really like nothing we've done before", Stepp said Tuesday. We are cooking. We are putting out food.
"They have been sent to Rutherfordton, in Rutherford County, near Chimney Rock, to provide structural protection to homes threatened by the fire", Assistant Chief Penuel said.
A local construction business owner allowed Stepp and several others to set up cots inside the business to sleep during the day.
Firefighters have been working 12-hour shifts and then many of them have been sleeping in tents.
The problem worsens when the sun slips toward the western horizon, she explained, because elevations in the Shining Rock Wilderness to the west top 6,000 feet. Of the 1,238 wildfires in the state so far this year, officials suspect arson in nearly half of them.
The fire in Rough Ridge, which led to a total fire ban in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, was increasing by 200 acres Wednesday, down from the normal increase of a few thousand acres a day, Heisey said.
The disabled veteran said his children are staying in Hendersonville and that they'd come get him if he needs it.
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The response now has 64 engines, six helicopters, one fixed wing aircraft, 16 dozers and four water tenders at its disposal, according to a fire update released Tuesday afternoon, November 15. Some fires may have been extinguished or changed size since the map was last updated.
Strong response from firefighting crews across the country has played an enormous role in holding the fires to their current parameters. The departments are: Apex, Bay Leaf, Cary, Durham Highway, Eastern Wake, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Stony Hill Rural, Wake Forest, Wendell, Western Wake and Zebulon.