CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. -- Arson is now suspected in a rash of wildfires across western North Carolina, and state transportation officials on Friday said the wildfire near Lake Lure has forced the immediate closing of U.S. Highway 64/74A and N.C. Highway 9 in Rutherford County.

At least 20 wildfires are burning in the Nantahala National Forest, along the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Dozens of families have been forced out of their homes.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the roaring fires on the ground and by air.

Fueling the raging fires, extremely dry conditions are turning trees into matchsticks. Ward said he's not sure when he and his family will be able to return home and what they'll find.