There are numerous wildfires burning in our neck of the woods. It’s been almost 80 days since we’ve had any significant rain, and for a region that averages 5-6 inches per month, that’s a long time with no rainfall. So far over 16,000 acres of forest have been burned, and the beautiful Joyce Kilmer Forest is in danger of being destroyed. This picture is several years old, but that’s still a big tree!
Our little valley has been full of smoke all day as is every other place you drive in the county. There have been evacuations, but not near us. And considering it seems that someone is setting these fires, it’s a scary thought that our hill could be next, though they seem to be starting in pretty rough terrain—which makes it much more difficult for firefighters to get to.
That large fire to the NW of Franklin has encompassed the fire tower at Wesser Bald, which has given us views like the picture below. Wondering what of all that is left and if the fire tower itself (above the tree line) survived.
Driving back from Bryson City last night (more details below), we got a good glimpse of one of the fires that was burning the side of the mountain along US 74. Very scary and disheartening.
We went to Bryson City to ride the Polar Express. The main Santa on the Polar Express (the Smokey Mountain Railroad that runs from Bryson City to Whittier) goes to our church. Last night they were having a dress rehearsal, and people involved in the train could invite friends and family to ride for free. They play music from the movie, serve hot chocolate, sing, dance, and then Santa gets on the train and passes out bells to everyone. Fun time.