Just before sunset Dec. 19, numerous onlookers pulled into the parking lot at Canyons to observe the prescribed burn in the Thunderhole Creek area. Jeff Eason photo
Thursday, December 26, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-12-26 15:09:49)

Source: The Blowing Rocket

The view from the parking lot of Canyons of the Blue Ridge in Blowing Rock on U.S. 321 has become as popular as any overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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.

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