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McCrory offers $10K for information related to NC wildfires

Posted November 17

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— Gov. Pat McCrory issued a $10,000 reward on Thursday for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for wildfires burning in western North Carolina.

While some of the smoke reached the Triangle, prompting a code yellow air quality condition, flames have consumed thousands of acres of forest in the last several weeks.

On Thursday, McCrory said there had been some progress in containing the flames over the past 24 hours.

"The back burning has been extremely successful, and the use of helicopters has been extremely successful," he said. "But this is really a grassroots effort of men and women fighting the fire hand-in-hand."

Nearly 2,000 firefighters, including many from the Triangle, are working to contain the flames. McCrory said the state has spent $15 million on the fire fight.

"These resources are limited and something of this magnitude needs volunteers, so a bunch of us from the Durham fire department put in to go," said Capt. Sean Boone.

McCrory described the fires as similar to those burning in California.

"Our four goals are safety, protecting structures, containment and protecting costs," he said.

The governor called the firefighters heroic, pointing out that while thousands of structures have been threatened, only one has been lost.

Still, he pointed out that the forest floor is thick with flammable material, and falling autumn leaves are encouraging the flames to spread. The danger is far from over.

"We cannot let our guard down," McCrory said.

On Friday, the Triangle will be under a code yellow for air quality conditions.

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