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Friday
Nov152013

The Table Rock Fire

Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 16

Just this past Tuesday, I thought I noticed smoke near one of the most iconic views in Morganton, Table Rock. There was a controlled burn scheduled for Dobson Knob located West of the Linville Gorge, but they had postponed that as a front with strong winds was to move through in the afternoon.

 

 

Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 9 (1)

 

As the day wore on, many folks were saddened to learn that the area around Table Rock was on fire. I had to see for myself the destruction that my beloved Linville Gorge was experiencing, so I drove up on Wednesday 11-13-2013. 

 

Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 6

I arrived at Wiseman's View off of Old NC 105 at around 10pm. On the road up over the spine of DogBack Mountain, the flames that were under the smoke revealed themselves. I have never seen anything quite as frightening or as beautiful at the same time as this fire. As I made my way along Old NC 105, it was like I was watching a firey serpent crawling over the ridges of the Gorge.

 

 

Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 20

 

After I made it to Wiseman's View I saw this spectacular and sad sight. I had hiked this area twice in the past month exploring it's 'new to me' views and sharing the trail with some photographers that were as smitten by the views as I was.

It will take many years for this area to recover and heal the scars left by this fire, but the good Lord always lets the Linville Gorge recover. It just takes time.

Mark

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    The Table Rock Fire - Thoughts - Mark Steven Houser Photography
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Reader Comments (2)

These pictures are both terrible and great. The views sure won't be the same this spring.

Thanks for sharing.

November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Beautiful photos; thank you for sharing--I was thinking that Wiseman's View would offer the perfect place to see the fire. But, I want to comment to you and your readers that the montane pine forests at Table Rock and elsewhere in Linville Gorge are adapted for catastrophic fires like these. Because Linville Gorge is a federal wilderness, prescribed fire cannot be used without special measures. This fire is currently not threatening homes or other structures. Pine forests like these are in decline all over the southern Appalachians because of long-term fire suppression. Table mountain pine, pitch pine, and several endangered plants that call these habitats home stand to benefit greatly from this fire, which is part of the natural cycle in these environments!

November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteph Jeffries

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