FRANKLIN, N.C. -- Governor Pat McCrory has expanded a State of Emergency to cover 22 additional counties to help the state combat the ongoing spread of wildfires in western North Carolina.
Macon County is one of the 27 total counties now included in the State of Emergency due to wildfires.
The North Carolina Forest Service has issued a burning ban on all open burning and canceled burning permits in the 47 counties.
McCrory met with firefighters, emergency management officials and volunteers Wednesday to provide an update on the state's response.
"This designation will help ensure counties threatened by wildfires and our emergency responders will have the tools needed to fight the most serious and dangerous fires we have experienced in North Carolina in decades," McCrory said.
The 22 counties added to the State of Emergency include: Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Cabbarus, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Union, Wilkes and Yadkin.
The 25 counties already covered by the original State of Emergency include: 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.
The State of Emergency comes just a day before Thanksgiving.
"As we approach Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for the firefighters, first responders and volunteers who have sacrificed so much to help save lives and protect property in North Carolina," the governor said.