Progress being made on fires across much of Western North Carolina

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Progress being made on many fires across Western North Carolina
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Nearly 46,000 acres total have already burned

Crews are still fighting what is being called the most dangerous wildfire in the mountains and the second-most critical fire in the nation.

The Party Rock Fire has now burned about 4,480 acres in Rutherford, Henderson, and Buncombe counties. Officials say it's about 19 percent contained.

Nearly 1,600 firefighters, including some from the Triangle, continue to battle wildfires with nearly 46,000 acres total already burned across the western part of the state.



There are firefighters from 13 fire departments in Wake County alone.

Get the latest developments on the WNC fires on the ABC11 News App

Crews told ABC11 the biggest challenges in fighting the fire has been the size of it and the terrain. Not being familiar with the area as well as dealing with mountainous terrain has proven difficult.

The long hours and overnight shifts also come with their own set of problems.

Read more: Chapel Hill Fire Department joins wildfire fight

"Really trying to make sure we don't end up sleep deprived so we can maintain our situational awareness. Especially driving these trucks on these winding roads," said Bob Pascucci with the Apex Fire Department.

The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily issued a ground stop Tuesday morning at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport because of the low visibility.

The Tellico Fire is now the largest in the state, now burning more than 13,600 acres. Currently, the fire is 68-percent contained.

Power crews are working to restore electricity where lines burned. Firefighters are also using infrared technology to figure out where flare-ups are most likely.

Some 20 significant fires have been burning in the western part of the state since Oct. 23. and Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday that it could take till the month of March to put out one of the fires.

Read more from WLOS.