Horton Fire Burning Near Watauga/Caldwell Line (2016-11-22 15:57:31)

Firefighters are working the Horton Fire near the Watauga/Caldwell County Line.

Firefighters and emergency response personnel from eight fire departments are actively fighting the Horton Fire. The fire began at approximately 7:00 PM Monday November 21st, near the intersection of Sampson Road and Penley Road. Multiple fire crews responded to the fire and have been battling it overnight. As of 7:00 AM this morning the fire size was approximately 400 acres with zero containment. The fire is threatening 55 homes. Watson Drive has been evacuated and residents on Dugger Fire Tower Road and Flat Mountain Road should prepare for imminent mandatory evacuations.

The Jefferson Post reports that the Fleetwood fire is about 70 percent contained. The Post reports that as of around 5pm Monday, some 435 acres have burned so far. The blaze began as a structure fire on Hidden Pasture Road – just off Paul Goodman Road in Fleetwood on Sunday. There are 14 houses and 9 other structures nearby and some residents have voluntarily evacuated but no official evacuation orders have been issued.

As fires continue to burn not only around the High Country but also in the southwest corner of the state, air quality continues to be impacted. The North Carolina Air Quality Forecast for November 22nd puts Ashe Watauga Avery Mitchell, and Caldwell counties, among others, under a Code Orange Alert, indicating air may be unhealthy for sensitive groups. Burning bans remain in effect.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol reminds motorists to exercise safe driving habits when traveling through the areas affected by wildfires. Although some roadways may not be directly in the fire’s path, the smoke that is produced can cause hazardous driving conditions. Tips are similar to driving in fog – increase following distances, use low-beam headlights, lower your speed and do not drive distracted. Also, plan ahead, and allow enough time to reach your destination safely. Motorists can obtain updated traffic information by visiting or by calling 511 from a mobile device.