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North Carolina Wildfires Grow; 44,000 Acres Burned

Gov. Pat McCrory first visited the fire near Lake Lure on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016
North Carolina Forest Service

Firefighters are entering a third week of battling more than a dozen wildfires in western North Carolina. 

The fires have been fueled by weeks of mostly sunny and dry conditions. 

Gov. Pat McCrory visited Lake Lure on Monday, where a nearby fire has now burned more than 3,000 acres and jumped containment lines. The state Forest Service says 15 wildfires have now charred about 44,000 acres.

"The major goal of these firefighters is to try to contain this and have it burn inward as opposed to expanding, but the fact of the matter is the fires are expanding under these incredibly difficult conditions," McCrory said.

No injuries have been reported in the resort town, but authorities have evacuated about a dozen homes. McCrory said it's not yet clear when residents can expect to go back.

"We're going to have to ask for people's patience," he said. "We've got California wildfires in North Carolina. And from all indications, this is one of the worst conditions for wildfires that North Carolina has ever seen."

The governor has said he wants a special session of the General Assembly to pass relief packages for Hurricane Matthew. He says he would consider adding the wildfires to that discussion.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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