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A firefighter works on the blaze Monday morning, fighting the Party Rock Fire. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

North Carolina wildfires have cost millions and could last for months


North Carolina wildfires have cost millions and could last for months

WATCH | Smoke and haze from the wildfires is affecting Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina. 

More than a dozen wildfires are burning across parts of North Carolina and have cost an estimated $10 million, Gov. Pat McCrory said in a press conference Monday.  

"We have California wildfires in North Carolina and they continue to cause serious challenges for our firefighter community, for towns throughout western North Carolina, and they continue to use a lot of resources and impact our environment," the governor continued. 

Approximately 75 percent of the cost has been covered by the federal government. 

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) approved McCrory's request for financial assistance Saturday, which will help the state cover the costs associated with fighting the fires. 

McCrory noted that unseasonably warm weather and lack of rainfall have deepened North Carolina's drought and created conditions that have allowed the fires to spread. 

"These conditions are expected for a long time throughout these winter months," McCrory said during the press conference. 

ABC News reports firefighters from California, Alaska, Oregon and other states have come to help.

Since Oct. 23, nearly 40,000 acres have been burned by 19 fires. Twenty-five counties in western North Carolina remain under a state of emergency, while many other evacuation orders have been lifted. 

McCrory said Monday that the fires were started by people, but it is unclear if they were lit intentionally. 


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