Arson possible cause of Nantahala wildfires

LAKE LURE, NC (WSPA) – The US Forest Service says they are investigating arson as a possible cause for wildfires in Nantahala National Forest.

A Spokesperson said that they don’t have numbers on how many of the wildfires currently burning may have been arson.

If you have seen suspicious activities, such as hearing someone brag about setting fires, you can report it to the U.S. Forest Service by calling 828-257-4200 or local law enforcement.

NC Gov. Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency to help the state fight the wildfires in western North Carolina prompted by the lingering drought that has impacted the region since late spring.

Credit Asheville Fire Dept.
Credit Asheville Fire Dept.

Forest wildfires are burning in several western North Carolina counties that are experiencing extreme drought.


About 30 homes have been evacuated at Lake Lure due to a wildfire there.

100 homes have been evacuated in the Nantahala fires.

The latest are Mandatory evacuations in Clay Co. on Nelson Ridge Rd, south on Cold Branch Rd to Highway 64, east to Pounding Mill Rd. A shelfter has been set ujp at the Clay Co. Senior Center on Ritter Rd. in Hayesvill.

More than 19 wildfires are burning on over 17,000 acres across the Nantahala National Forest. All fires are being investigated for suspected arson.

More than 565 firefighters and support staff from more than 40 states and territories are working to suppress 18 wildland fires to protect people, structures, and infrastructure.

Winds are forecasted to be lighter today dropping to 5-8 mph, with gusts 10-15 mph, but the relative humidity is predicted to be lower today (18-25%), so fire behavior will continue to be critical.

Evacuations were ordered yesterday for residences along Gassaway Rd., Wesser Creek Rd., De Wessse Rd., Northern Partridge Rd., Big Dog Rd., Long Branch Rd. and Licklog Rd.

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