Gov. Beverly Perdue has declared a state of emergency for 29 eastern North Carolina counties because of dry conditions and raging wildfires.
Those counties are: Robeson, Columbus, Brunswick, Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Sampson, Pender, New Hanover, Johnston, Duplin, Onslow, Jones, Carteret, Pamlico, Craven, Lenoir, Wayne, Wilson, Greene, Pitt, Edgecombe, Martin, Beaufort, Washington, Tyrrell, Dare, Hyde and Nash.
Most of the counties included in the declaration are also under a ban on open outdoor burning and are suffering severe drought conditions.
Perdue's Saturday declaration enables the state to seek aid from the federal government and other states in fighting the blazes.
Two large fires are burning in coastal areas, while a number of smaller blazes have popped up in the wake of lightning strikes and dry weather.
Perdue says the state is working with more than 300 federal, local and volunteer fire departments to keep the blazes under control.