North Carolina’s active wildfires have so far burned about 47,000 acres, likely surpassing most annual totals recorded in the state this century.
Fifteen fires across western N.C. have rained ash on local towns and covered Charlotte in a layer of smoke Wednesday morning.
They have already charred more acres than all but two years since 2000, according to N.C. Fire Service data, which include fires on state and privately owned lands. Last year about 10,500 acres burned on those lands, records show. Debris burning was the leading cause of the fires.
Exact comparisons weren’t immediately available because some of this week’s fires are on federal lands, such as the Nantahala National Forest along the Tennessee border.
Observer reporter Bruce Henderson contributed.