Tennessee

Southern fires rage with 41.6 million now living in drought

  • Smoke from the Party Rock fire near Lake Lure spreads as emergency services and the N.C. Forest Service work to contain the blaze Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016 at Lake Lure, N.C.  Unseasonably warm dry weather has deepened a drought that's igniting forest fires across the southeastern U.S.   (Abigail Margulis/The Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)

    Smoke from the Party Rock fire near Lake Lure spreads as emergency services and the N.C. Forest Service work to contain the blaze Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016 at Lake Lure, N.C. Unseasonably warm dry weather has deepened a drought that's igniting forest fires across the southeastern U.S. (Abigail Margulis/The Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A helicopter carrying 240 gallons of water takes off to assist in the fire containment efforts Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2016 at Lake Lure, N.C.  Unseasonably warm dry weather has deepened a drought that's igniting forest fires across the southeastern U.S.   (Abigail Margulis/The Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)

    A helicopter carrying 240 gallons of water takes off to assist in the fire containment efforts Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2016 at Lake Lure, N.C. Unseasonably warm dry weather has deepened a drought that's igniting forest fires across the southeastern U.S. (Abigail Margulis/The Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke from the Party Rock fire near Lake Lure spreads as emergency services and the N.C. Forest Service work to contain the blaze Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016 at Lake Lure, N.C.  Unseasonably warm dry weather has deepened a drought that's igniting forest fires across the southeastern U.S.   (Abigail Margulis/The Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)

    Smoke from the Party Rock fire near Lake Lure spreads as emergency services and the N.C. Forest Service work to contain the blaze Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016 at Lake Lure, N.C. Unseasonably warm dry weather has deepened a drought that's igniting forest fires across the southeastern U.S. (Abigail Margulis/The Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Federal authorities say warmer-than-average temperatures and no rainfall are deepening a drought that's sparking forest fires across the Southeastern U.S., forcing people to evacuate dozens of homes.

Thursday's national drought report shows 41.6 million people in parts of 15 southern states now live in drought conditions. The worst is in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, but extreme drought also is spreading into western North and South Carolina.

Most of the large fires Thursday are being fought in Tennessee and Kentucky.

In the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, people living on five roads near one roaring blaze were advised to leave their homes, and residents of 38 more homes in another part of the state were told to evacuate ahead of a separate wildfire.