Horton Fire At 65% Contained As Of Thursday Morning 11/24 (2016-11-25 13:52:39)

Over 50 firefighters, law enforcement and emergency response personnel were active on the Horton Fire Wednesday night.

Priority remained patrolling the fire area and the protection of homes particularly along Dugger Fire Tower Road. As of the 9am Thursday morning update, the fire was approximately 1200 acres in size and remained at 65% contained. The fire is expected to grow to 1350-1500 acres within the established containment lines. No homes have been lost in this fire.

While there was rain Wednesday night and Thursday morning, it was only around 300ths of an inch as measured at The Watauga Medical Center. The rain helped keep fire behavior low but was not enough to make a major difference. Approximately 125 responders from multiple agencies continue to work towards full containment of the fire. Sampson Road remains closed at State View Road. Members of the public who do not live in the area are asked to continue to avoid the area to allow fire response traffic safe access to the fire. The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office is patrolling the fire perimeter.

Three power poles located near Watson Drive and Sampson Road have been burned at the base. Blue Ridge Electric utility crews were working to replace those poles yesterday. You can follow progress on this fire online at

Gov. Pat McCrory expanded the state of emergency on Wednesday to cover 22 additional counties impacted by the wildfires. It brings the total to 47 counties now under a state of emergency. The 22 counties added include: Alleghany, Ashe, and Wilkes. Watauga, Avery and Mitchell counties were included previously. Nearly 3,000 active personnel from across the state and country are now involved in fighting the wildfires that have burned more than 69,000 acres. The estimated cost of the wildfires is nearly $30 million.

Watauga, Wilkes, Caldwell and on south are under a Code Orange Alert for Friday. Avery and Mitchell are under a Code Yellow Alert, but south and west a Code Red Alert remains in effect.