Nine North Carolina Homes Destroyed by Fire

A brush fire in Western North Carolina destroyed nine homes and damaged others Sunday night.

Firefighters said Monday morning that the fire was contained along almost all of the fire line and that residents were being allowed to return.

Officials in western North Carolina said 200 acres were burned by wildfires that were fueled by dry conditions and windy weekend weather.

Those residents of areas near Bryson City were forced to flee their homes Sunday night. The Citizen Times reported that Grassy Ridge, the affected subdivision, is a community of 27 homes that are about 30 years old. Many are vacation cottages.

WYFF News 4's Gordon Dill was in Swain County, and said that the fast-moving fire destroyed one home in less than three minutes. The fire moved up the mountainside at about 25 mph, according to firefighters.

Dill said that even though the fire was considered under control late Monday afternoon, hot spots were continuing to flare up.

The fire began on Sunday in Swain County and crews from the U.S. Forestry Commission and several fire departments in the area worked through the night to get it under control. More than 200 firefighters were needed to bring the blaze under control.

Emergency officials in the area said that despite the damage, no injuries were reported.

Mandatory evacuation was ordered for residents along Pelohi Cove Road and Red Hill Road.

A voluntary evacuation was issued for the surrounding areas of Grassy Branch, Laurel Branch, and Mineral Springs.

An emergency shelter was set up at a nearby church, but the pastor of Midway Baptist Church said that all the evacuees found someplace else to stay.

Emergency officials say separate brush fires were reported farther north the French Broad River, but no damage was reported.

WYFF News 4 Chief Meteorologist John Cessarich said that the fire danger should decrease later this week as rain moves into the North Carolina mountains.