North Carolina wildfires brings smoke to the area

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SAVANNAH, Ga. – Flames roar in western North Carolina filling the air with large amounts of smoke as fire crews battle several wildfires in the area.

“This is extremely dangerous,” Governor Pat McCrory, R- North Carolina, said. “Dangerous for the firefighters and possibly dangerous for the structures and the people around these fires.”

Thursday McCrory expressed his concerns about the fires and how they would not only harm the area but for those South of the state as well.

“This has been going on for a very long time and I’m very concerned about the resources that are available because of the wide breadth of this fire, not just in North Carolina but throughout the Southeast,” McCrory said.

More than 20 fires were lit in the area. Investigators say they found materials at the scene and suspect this is arson.

More than 5,000 firefighters are working to stop the problem, but it hasn’t come without any hiccups.

“Last night the containment line from, basically running across the ridge of Schumont Mountain was established and the plan was to conduct a burnout operation when the fire approached,” Bill Swartley, with forest services, said. “The fire picked up and ran so hard so fast that it literally beat us to the punch when it comes time to light it off. We just didn’t see that coming.”

So far no one has been injured, but that doesn’t mean people who’ve been hit with smoke are out of the woods.

Smoke has spread all the way to Savannah and if you have health issues you should be cautious.

It could cause burning eyes, runny nose and even bronchitis. And for those with lung and heart conditions, it could cause severe aggravation and you should see a doctor.

Experts say it’s best to stay indoors and away from the smoke. Also, avoid running outdoors if possible.

As for the north, they’re keeping a close eye out to make sure everyone stays safe.

“So, that’s my biggest concern is ensuring that they have the support necessary,” McCrory said. “Because, the more fatigue they go through, the more dangerous it’s going to be for them also. Of course the second biggest concern is potential loss of life of any of our citizens and then the structures. But, the concern right now is the long-term.”

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