Officials warn of wildfire danger across NC

February 19, 2011 4:00:12 PM PST
North Carolina officials are asking people not to burn outdoors because of high winds and dry air this weekend. Forecasters expect conditions to be ripe for fast-spreading fires, so the National Weather Service and the state Division of Forest Resources have issued red flag warnings or fire danger statements for all of North Carolina.

Brian Haines, PIO with NC Division of Forest Resources, told ABC11 Saturday that statewide 183 fires were reported before 6 p.m.

He said the 183 contained fires encompassed over 507 acres. He said 39 fires that spanned 4,080 acres had not been contained by Saturday evening.

Two very large fires -- one in Warren County, which is 500 acres and one in Pender County, which is more than 200 acres in size -- lead to evacuations in both areas.

More than 90 percent of North Carolina is considered abnormally dry, and an area stretching from Charlotte to Raleigh is in severe drought.

Officials say people should compost their brush piles or leave them until the state receives a soaking rainfall.

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