Smoke draws many
On Dec. 19, the parking lot had even more visitors than usual, as motorists pulled over to look at and take photos of the fires burning in the valley known as The Globe.
The U.S. Forest Service was conducting a prescribed burn that day in northern Caldwell County on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.
The fires burned all afternoon and into the night under the supervision of several agencies, including the North Carolina Forest Service, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue, the Nature Conservancy and the Collettsville Volunteer Fire Department.
“It’s quite something, it’s all people have been talking about all day,” said Bart Conway, proprietor of Canyons.
Because of the wind direction and the overcast conditions that day, Boone residents could actually smell the fire and detect ashes from it better in those viewing the fire from the Canyons parking lot.
The 200-acre burn in the Thunderhole Creek area was undertaken to reduce hazardous fuels and help protect local communities from catastrophic wildfires, according the U.S. Forest Service.
The Thunderhole area was recently transferred to the federal government in a land swap with the town of Blowing Rock in exchange for the land surrounding the Blowing Rock reservoir.