Monday, November 20, 2023

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

Nov 20, 2023

Today, Governor Roy Cooper expanded the State of Emergency declared on Nov. 8 in response to the ongoing wildfires in Western North Carolina and the continued drought conditions and elevated fire risk throughout the state.

“I am grateful for the firefighters and first responders who continue to work tirelessly to combat the fires in the western part of our state,” said Governor Cooper. “We remain in touch with local officials to provide assistance where necessary and address the health and safety risks posed by these fires.”

“The expanded state of emergency will continue to extend support to local jurisdictions and partner agencies impacted by the ongoing wildfires with the resources they need,” said Will Ray, Director of North Carolina Emergency Management. “We ask that all North Carolinians do their part by following guidance from North Carolina Forest Service and public safety officials for wildfire safety, especially while these drought conditions continue. If we all do our part to prevent wildfires, and other preventable disasters, we will be protecting our communities and the first responders who work in them.”

The new Executive Order will expand the area encompassed within the State of Emergency to include the following counties: Anson, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Scotland, Stanly, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin. 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 also 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.

Read Executive Order No. 294 here.