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State of emergency declared in Swain County as wildfires spread

As rain continues not to fall, wildfires continue to burn in the mountains. One of the largest fires burning is the Tellico wildfire, which is now more than 3,400 acres and only 25 percent contained. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

SWAIN COUNTY, N.C. -- As rain continues not to fall, wildfires continue to burn in the mountains.

One of the largest fires burning is the Tellico wildfire, which is now more than 3,400 acres and only 25 percent contained.

That wildfire started in Macon County and spread to Swain County where a state of emergency has been declared.

Wesser Creek Road is one area where people have been urged to evacuate.

RELATED | Evacuation notices issued for Tellico Fire in Macon County

Some homes in the Tellico and Queens Creek communities are only a couple hundred feet from the wildfire.

A dozen or more families have been asked to evacuate but most haven't, saying the fire crews will protect them.

"This is the closest it's ever been," Gill Crouch, a homeowner who isn't evacuating, said. "They stayed all afternoon, stayed all night and that's comforting to know."

"We've had some people who want to comply and some people who are just not going to leave and we can't force them to leave. We can just recommend they leave," Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran said.

Sheriff Cochran fears constant dry and windy weather means he'll be knocking on more doors.

RELATED | Wind worsens mountain wildfires, forces evacuations

"It could possibly burn itself out, but if it shifts to new ground, then it could just keep going," Sheriff Cochran said.

Local fire crews along with the U.S. Forest Service and agencies from different states are working to contain this wildfire and keep people safe.

RELATED | Burn ban in effect until further notice for all of western NC

Shelters are available for people who have been evacuated at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and the Southwestern Community College Almond Center in Bryson City.

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