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Shortoff Fire


Original Post
Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

Crazy- Am I missing another climbing internet forum where stuff like this is being shared?

Charlotte Observer, 3/20/17
BY BRUCE HENDERSON

A wildfire fire in the Linville Gorge wilderness area, first reported last Thursday, has spread to 585 acres and is only 10 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service said Monday.

The White Creek fire is burning near iconic Shortoff Mountain at the southern end of the gorge in Pisgah National Forest.

The 140 firefighters at the scene are improving fire lines on the south end of the burned area to protect private property and are trying to establish lines on the north end, the Forest Service said. They may be able to ignite a low-intensity back burn Monday to reduce the amount of fuel that would feed the wildfire.

The fire expanded Friday in dry conditions, before a half-inch of rain fell that night.

“The rain on Friday night was a huge help because the fire was really growing up fast in the two days before that, from 75 acres to 585 acres,” said Lisa Jennings, a Forest Service spokeswoman.

The problem now is the area’s harsh terrain. Linville Gorge and Shortoff Mountain are popular rock-climbing sites. “There are spots where it’s a sheer cliff,” Jennings said.

Wildfires tore through North Carolina’s mountains during a drought last fall, as tinder-dry conditions and high winds combined to torch at least 55,000 acres. Wind-blown smoke from those fires was heavy enough to make Charlotte’s air unhealthy.

Linville Gorge has a long history of wildfires. That allowed firefighters to fall back to existing fire lines established in fires from 2013, 2007 and 2000.

No structures are at risk yet, and rain may move into the area Tuesday night. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Forest Service land around the fire is closed to the public. It includes land east of State Road 1238 (Old N.C. 105 / Kistler Memorial Highway), south of Conley Cove Trail, south of Table Rock Picnic Area, west of Back Irish Creek Forest Service Road #118 (Blue Gravel Road) and Roses Creek Forest Service Road #99, north of Highway 126. A number of trails are also closed: Shortoff; Rock Jock; Pinch-In; Linville Gorge south of Conley Cove Trail; and Mountains to Sea from State Road 1238 at Pinnacles to the Table Rock Picnic Area.

Read more here: charlotteobserver.com/news/…

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 498

Yes; NC climbers use FaceBook way more than anything. The Western Carolina Climbing group is by far the most useful. The Asheville Climbers group is okay. There is often good info in the Linville Gorge group, but that group is huge and includes mostly hikers and old people whose posts tend to be lower quality. If you don't use Facebook, you'll miss tons of stuff that goes on here.

Brian Payst · · Carrboro,NC · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 10

Carolina Climbers Coalition Facebook page as well - facebook.com/carolinaclimbe…

We also post NC/SC closures on the CCC site: carolinaclimbers.org/closures

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140
Chet Butterworth · · Chattanooga · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 405

Just got back from there. Fire also affects the Amphitheater area (and the trail to it from TR). We ran into a number of climbers who were not aware of the fire/closures -- including ourselves.

We called the rangers last Thursday and showed up Friday so the fire must've started Thursday night.

Taylor Harmon · · Hickory, NC · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

How smokey was the gorge? I am over in Hickory and have been watching the vistas the past few days. It seems like a pretty good amount of smoke on the horizon. I am hoping the damages caused by the fire are as minimal and perhaps helpful for the forest as the recent Hickory Nut Gorge wildfire.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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