RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Beverly Perdue has declared a state of emergency in eastern North Carolina, as crews work to contain a series of stubborn wildfires.
Drought conditions and difficult terrain are hampering firefighters. Combined, the blazes have scorched roughly 70,000 acres along the Atlantic coast.
The fire causing the most concern began with a lightning strike last weekend. Earlier this week it nearly quadrupled in size and has now burned more than 21,000 acres in Pender and Onslow counties. Crews have it about 15 percent contained.
Perdue's emergency declaration means the state can seek federal aid and help from other states in fighting the blaze.
Meanwhile, officials in south Georgia are banning the use of fireworks as a precaution against wildfires. Three large fires have burned more than 500 square miles in the state. The fires have been centered in the Okefenokee Swamp near the Georgia-Florida state line.
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