Our area is experiencing a severe drought. Over the past 10 years, our hemlock trees have fallen to the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). The dry carcasses of the hemlocks litter the forest floor giving a lot of fuel to any fire danger. There are dead leaves laying in piles and piles everywhere. And, not least, the temperatures are running 10-15 degrees above normal. It looks like this has created a perfect storm for fires in the Appalachians and Smokys.
Wildfires are everywhere and the smoke seems to be converging on the Asheville area.
As we speak, the following fires are burning:
- Rough Ridge Fire in Oconee County, Georgia currently burning over 5,057 acres.
- Silver Mine Fire in Hot Springs, North Carolina currently burning over 5,964 acres.
- Cliffside First 3 miles NW of Highlands, North Carolina currently burning over 104 acres.
- Dicks Creek Drainage, 2 miles NW of Sylva, NC currently burning over 532 acres.
- May Branch First west of Nanatahala Lake, NC currently burning over 175 acres.
- Moses Creek Fire in Nantahala Forest, NC currently burning over ? (not listed).
- Knob Fire 9 miles southwest of Franklin, NC currently burning over 644 acres.
- Avey Branch Fire, North of Santeetlah Lake, NC currently burning over 540 acres.
- Maple Springs Fire North of Santeetlah Lake, NC currently burning over 1,678 acres.
- Boteler Fire 15 miles east of Murphy,NC currently burning over 1,713 acres.
- Party Rock Fire in Chimney Rock State Park, NC currently burning over 344 acres.
- Tellico Fire 3 miles south of Almond, NC currently burning over 1,835 acres.
- Ferebee Fire 1 mile north of Nantahala, NC currently burning over 545 acres.
Pictures of the Party Rock Fire in Chimney Rock November 7, 2016
Pictures Taken From Summit of Mt. Pisgah, November 8, 2016