Wildfires encompassing thousands of acres continue to burn across western North Carolina as the region awaits a break in the recent run of dry weather. Mandatory evacuation areas from the N.C. Forest Service include Chimney Rock Village from the intersection of Boys Camp Road and Highway 74 to the Hickory Nut Falls Campground Bridge intersection with Highway 74.
There is a mandatory evacuation for those residents and business owners located on Boys Camp Road, from the Highway 74 intersection to the end of Boys Camp Road. The order is issued for residents and business owners located on South Side Drive from the Flowering Bridge west to the Hickory Nut Falls Campground Bridge intersection with Highway 74. Ditto for residents from Hickory Nut Falls Campground Bridge intersection with Highway 74 to the county line.
Evacuations underway as numerous NC mountain wildfires double in size. One of the largest fires is 1,115 acres at Tellico, northwest of Franklin in the Nantahala Mountains, according to the U.S. Park Service. The largest fire of 1,600 acres is at Boteler, Boteler Peak near Hayesville according to the park service. The Boteler fire is only 10 percent contained as of Sunday, officials said.
Fourteen NC state parks have placed temporary bans on campfires, according to a statement from North Carolina State Parks. Campfire bans are in effect at Chimney Rock, Crowders Mountain, Elk Knob, Gorges, Grandfather Mountain, Hanging Rock, Lake James, Lake Norman, Mount Mitchell, Morrow Mountain, New River (including Mount Jefferson State Natural Area), Pilot Mountain, South Mountains and Stone Mountain state parks, the agency said.
STM staff prayers go out to the Tar Heel State families.