Brush fires spread to 100 acres near Rosman - FOX Carolina 21

Brush fires spread to 100 acres near Rosman

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Helicopters were brought in to fight the brush fires. (Apr. 26, 2013/FOX Carolina iWitness L. Vaughan) Helicopters were brought in to fight the brush fires. (Apr. 26, 2013/FOX Carolina iWitness L. Vaughan)
Firefighters work to extinguish a brush fire along U.S. 64 in Transylvania County. (Apr. 26, 2013/FOX Carolina) Firefighters work to extinguish a brush fire along U.S. 64 in Transylvania County. (Apr. 26, 2013/FOX Carolina)
ROSMAN, NC (FOX Carolina) -

After several separate brush fires broke out in western North Carolina Friday, several of them quickly spread across 100 acres of land near Rosman.

Initial reports from Transylvania County dispatchers that nearly 20 separate fires were reported along U.S. 64 between Rosman and Cashiers about 11 a.m.

Crews with the North Carolina Forest Service, Transylvania County, Rosman, Jackson County and Lake Toxaway were battling the blazes.

FOX Carolina crews at the scene said authorities had set up several staging areas along the highway as they were preparing to evacuate people from their homes, but officials later said no one was evacuated as several fires were contained or extinguished.

Rob Townley with the North Carolina Forest Service said four fires started along the highway, two of which threatened some homes, but they were quickly contained to an acre each.

Townley said two other fires merged and spread to nearly 20 acres. That fire had spread to 40 acres by 4 p.m. and was mostly burning property of the National Forest Service. But Friday night, 100 acres were burning and mostly uncontained.

He said breezy conditions and low humidity were contributing to the fires.

The Forest Service helicopter was dropping water. Its spotter plane was keeping an eye on the fire and about 40 firefighters were also working to contain the blaze. So far, only 20 percent was contained when many crews were released at nightfall on Friday.

Townley said crews were using a fire line to control the fire but don't know how long it will take. He said they expected to be out all night and had additional firefighters on standby.

He said it could take crews days to extinguish the blaze, though a big rain would help.

An American Red Cross spokesman said they had a crew on standby ready to mobilize if they are needed.

Townley does not expect homes will need to be evacuated; none have been so far.

In the area? Send fire photos to iwitness@foxcarolina.com or upload them at iwitness.foxcarolina.com.

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