Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Governor Cooper Signs State of Emergency in Response to Ongoing Wildfires in Western North Carolina

Nov 8, 2023

Today, Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency in response to the ongoing wildfires in Western North Carolina and the continued drought conditions throughout the state.

“I am grateful for the first responders who have jumped into action to help combat the ongoing wildfires in Western North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “The fires and the continued droughts across the state pose a risk to public health and safety and we want to ensure that all residents and their property remain safe and protected."

The Executive Order will coordinate and support emergency response operations among North Carolina entities and officials to ensure the protection and safety of North Carolina residents.

The emergency area is specified to encompass Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rowan, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties as well as tribal lands in the State of North Carolina held by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

“The current wildfires, combined with the ongoing drought and weather forecast have increased our risk for additional fire activity, especially in the western part of our state. This emergency declaration will help facilitate getting the needed resources to combat these wildfires, to save lives and property, and to support our local jurisdictions and agencies, as well as state partners who are engaged in fighting these fires.” said Will Ray, Director of North Carolina Emergency Management. “We are incredibly proud of the North Carolina Forest Service, local fire departments, and the US Forest Service who have stepped up to combat these fires and protect our state.”

Read Executive Order No. 293 here.