Wildfires fed by dry forests and spread by winds up to 60 mph have destroyed more than 30,000 acres in eight states and 10 houses in northern Michigan, authorities said.
Fires burned in Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Tennessee and North Carolina. The worst of the blazes was in North Carolina, where 200 workers battled fires in three southeastern counties.
Erratic winds last night forced firefighters temporarily to abandon a raging wildfire that has burned 20,000 acres in North Carolina. Forest Fire Chief Dane Roten said winds shifted so quickly that the huge fire in Pender and Onslow counties "is completely out of control."
"Every time we try to get this thing contained the wind shifts," said Bob Rielly, police chief in Holly Ridge, N.C. "I believe if we don't get rain it probably will not be contained. Organic peat is burning and will continue to burn for weeks unless it rains."
In Virginia, officials said it cost more than $750,000 to control a fire that burned 4,500 acres in the Shenandoah National Park.
Michigan authorities said fires in the Upper Peninsula may have been ignited by wind-snapped power lines. Nearly 200 families were evacuated in the areas around Sawyer Air Force Base and the town of Ishpeming.
In Pennsylvania, fires that razed nearly 2,000 acres of woodland this week were controlled.