Price gouging law in effect for 25 NC counties due to wildfires - FOX Carolina 21

Price gouging law in effect for 25 NC counties due to wildfires

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Fire near Lake Lure (Courtesy: Michele Schwartz) Fire near Lake Lure (Courtesy: Michele Schwartz)
Party Rock fire (Source: Town of Lake Lure) Party Rock fire (Source: Town of Lake Lure)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on Thursday declared a State of Emergency to help combat more than 20 active wildfires in western North Carolina burning amid the drought.

McCrory released this statement about declaring a State of Emergency: 

“As eastern North Carolina was underwater due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew, the western part of the state has been suffering from a severe drought and now hundreds of acres are burning. This declaration will help facilitate evacuations as needed and provide further state assets to help combat the wildfires and support North Carolinians displaced by the fires. This is extremely dangerous work and I especially want to thank the firefighters, first responders, sheriffs and other emergency personnel that have risked their own lives to protect our citizens and property.”

The State of Emergency is in effect for 25 counties including Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties.

Under the State of Emergency declaration, a price gouging law is in effect for these counties. It is illegal in North Carolina to charge too much for critical goods and services in a time of crisis.

Attorney General Roy Cooper encouraged the public to report price gouging if they witness it. Click here for more information.
 
The N.C. Forest Service has also issued a burning ban on all open burning and cancelled burning permits in 25 counties in the western part of the state. To date, there have been evacuations ordered in Clay, Graham, Macon, Rutherford and Swain counties.
 
In support of the U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Emergency Management's Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team has deployed a N.C. National Guard Blackhawk helicopter and local rescue technicians to perform any rescues necessary from wildfire fighting operations.

The U.S. Forest service said that more than 117,000 acres were burning on national forest land in North Carolina.  McCrory said these wildfires are some of the most serious fires to occur in the state in nearly two decades.
 
Get real-time updates on the fires here.

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