N. Carolina looks at possible arson in wildfires

According to Seth Hawkins with the Georgia Forestry Commission, officials responded to over 29 wildfires in Georgia on Thursday, including one that is burning on Lookout Mountain not far from Mentone.

The chief told The Associated Press on Friday that Mullins told him he started the fire he was charged with earlier this week "because he enjoyed the attention he got from the Facebook stuff".

"He didn't realize how much danger he was putting other people in", Stephens added.

In Tennessee, 42 of the 58 active wildfires in the state are suspected arsons - or about 72 percent of them - the Tennessee Department of Agriculture reported Saturday in its wildfire situation update.

There have not been any other arrests made for the rest of the fires that are viewed by authorities as suspicious.

Officials say the dry weather and lack of rain over the past few weeks are causing these fires to grow rapidly.

The Rabun County Sheriff's Office said Friday evening that about 25 to 40 homes in the Persimmon community were affected.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 photo, a wildfire burns near Lake Lure, N.C. Almost 300 people are battling that fire, which already consumed about 15 square miles, the Forest Service said.

Wildfires burning across the South have created a smoky haze over metro Atlanta and prompted a public health advisory in Kentucky - and the forests are expected to continue burning for days as flaming leaves fall to the ground and spread the fire, authorities said Wednesday.

The parks will reopen when the fires are contained or extinguished and staff are able to return to their assigned parks, said the spokesman.

This fire can now be seen from many areas of North Georgia including the Conasauga River, and it is being closely worked and monitored by State, Federal, and local Agencies.

"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. All fires are being investigated for suspected arson.

U.S. Forest Service officials began their airborne assault Friday against the fire in Fannin County from the Dalton airport.

The publication relays the severity of the drought in Southern states.

Wildfires spanning from Tennessee to Georgia, North Carolina and parts of Alabama, have led to evacuations in some counties as firefighters try to suppress the flames. Several North Carolina state parks are now closed to allow those that work there to fight the fires.

  • Delores Daniels