WAUTAGA COUNTY, N.C. — As of 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Horton Fire remained 65 percent contained and was approximately 1,450 acres, officials said.
There are approximately 125 personnel representing approximately 25 agencies assigned to the Horton Fire. Fire personnel have responded from as far away as New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, Idaho and Montana.
Firefighters are now focused on providing for firefighter and public safety, while protecting homes within and near the fire area.
Wind gusts up to 30 mph are expected through the weekend. Fire managers are actively preparing for the wind. Areas of concern are hotspots flaring up along the north end of the fire and the southeast end. Crews are mopping up those areas and monitoring them closely. Firefighters are patrolling the fire area through the night.
Smoke is expected to settle through the evening and early morning, significantly affecting visibility from Watson Road up to the Dugger Fire Tower Road. The public is asked to avoid this area and Sampson Road south of the Blue Ridge Parkway to provide for the safety of firefighters and local residents.
The Watauga County community has provided a phenomenal amount of donations for the firefighters. We are asking that anyone wishing to donate any food or supplies to please consider a cash donation to the Red Cross instead.