Wildfires

"I guess I was just bored," Keith Mann of Franklin, N.C. told the U.S. Forest Service when questioned why he set two fires in Macon County.

The Forest Service says it began investigating him after he called 911 to report the second fire. After an agent began questioning him, Mann admitted it was him all along who set the fires. He told the agent he used a box of kitchen matches.

Firefighters say the Party Rock Wildfire near Chimney Rock and Lake Lure has been fully contained, thanks in part to 0.4 inches of rain that fell Monday night through Tuesday. Firefighting crews have begun packing up and dismantling their fire camps Tuesday morning as they head for home. 

Smoke hangs on mountainsides and sits in valleys. The layer behind the mountains is from the Chimney Rock fire.
David Boraks / WFAE

Unhealthy air is now covering the region, as smokes creeps east from wildfires in western North Carolina. You can see it as you walk down the street. From above, it's even more dramatic, says . WFAE environmental reporter David Boraks. He flew over the fire zone Friday and has this report:

The state Medical Examiner's Office late Monday released the autopsy of Keith Lamont Scott. It shows Scott died of gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen, but lacking in whether Scott was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the shooting. 

Wildfires in western North Carolina have burned about 40,000 acres since late October. State officials on Monday said eight major fires continue to burn in several mountain counties. Nearly 1,600 firefighters including some from out-of-state are battling the wildfires. WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke with N.C. Forest Service spokesman Brian Haines about the ongoing efforts to contain the flames.

Gov. Pat McCrory talks to reporters after touring wildfire damage in Lake Lure Monday.
State of NC

Nearly 1,600 firefighters are now fighting wildfires that have burned 40,000 acres across western North Carolina over the past three weeks. Gov. Pat McCrory says the state has spent $10 million fighting the fires so far.

The Durham County elections board is defending itself against charges by Governor Pat McCrory’s campaign of wrongful or illegal conduct in last Tuesday’s ballot count. After troubles on Election Day, the heavily Democratic County reported 94,000 ballots late.

Peculiar Chimney Rock Fire Perplexes Experts

Nov 13, 2016
Mark Washburn / Charlotte Observer

By Mark Washburn
The Charlotte Observer

No one can remember a wildfire as peculiar as the monster gnawing through the gorge above the village of Chimney Rock.

It burrows beneath swaths cut to contain it. It conjures unforeseen winds from the steep terrain. It dashes erratically this way and that, like a running back punching for open field.

And never mind the frustration of fire managers – it has even spooked the hardy, reclusive mountain coyotes.

forest fire
North Carolina Forest Service

 

Governor Pat McCrory is declaring a state of emergency in 25 western counties as firefighters battle more than 20  forest fires burning in North Carolina's stretch of the Appalachian mountains.

In an effort to diversify magnet schools, the CMS board will begin placing heavy priority on a student's socio-economic status in student assignment decisions. That's part of the first phase of the board's student re-assignment plan passed unanimously Wednesday night.

Among the factors the district will take into account are income, parents' education levels, and English language fluency. The changes will only affect students applying to enter magnet programs.

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