- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Parts of western North Carolina ravaged by wildfires last year have turned green as the areas recover from the damage.

It’s hard to tell that fire burned more than 10 square miles near Chimney Rock and Lake Lure last fall, The Charlotte Observer (https://bit.ly/2qNLZeq) reported Tuesday

Amber White with Chimney Rock State Park says those hiking to the top of the park “won’t see any difference at all.”

Lake Lure town manager Roy Nalley says everything has bounced back to normal six months after the fires. Nalley says the town park with the most problems was damaged by digging fire lines, and not by flames. Those fire lines have been replanted.

The fires’ scars are not easy to see from the two towns because the flames were never hot enough to consume whole trees, said Matt Marker with the North Carolina Forest Service. The fire stayed close to the ground.

It burned deep layers of dead leaves, releasing nutrients that are good for plant growth, Barker said.

The Party Rock fire began Nov. 5 just north of Lake Lure. It took more than three weeks and hundreds of firefighters to extinguish all the flames. Access to Chimney Rock was restricted for 10 days as firefighters battled the blaze and evacuations were ordered.

No one was hurt and no buildings were destroyed.


Information from: The Charlotte Observer, https://www.charlotteobserver.com

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