iStock/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Wildfires throughout the south are causing millions of dollars worth of damages, threatening the health and safety of residents. Arson is the suspected cause, according to authorities.
The fires are in seven states, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Carolinas.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said at a news conference Monday that a dozen wildfires have spread over parts of parts of his state, costing at least $10 million.
The federal government will pay 75 percent of the costs, he said.
“We have California wildfires in North Carolina,” McCrory said, referring to the blazes that devastated parts of California this year.
The governor cited dry weather conditions as the cause behind the rapid spread.
“These conditions are expected for a long time throughout these winter months,” McCrory said.
Firefighters from California, Alaska, Oregon and other states have arrived to help, he added.
McCrory acknowledged the fires were started by people, but he didn’t know whether they were lit intentionally.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, an aspiring weatherman was jailed for arson after allegedly admitting to starting a wildfire, police said last Friday.
John Mura, the director of communications for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, told ABC News that Kentucky has been in a “state of emergency because of these fires for almost two weeks,” and that the state is managing 24 fires over 25,000 acres. He said that it’s typical for Kentucky to experience dryness this time of year but last month was drier than usual, setting the stage to wildfires.
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