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  1. #1

    Default AT Closed from Dicks Creek Gap GA to Nantahala River NC

    Due to several forest fires, the AT is closed from Dicks Creek Gap going north to the Nantahala River by order of the National Forest until further notice. The forest fires tend to stay on the ground, burning up the occasional dead tree. Falling leaves have been a big issue re-igniting some areas. The mountains are so absolutely dry that many rhododendrons have burned (which according to some old-timers has never been seen). Ultimately such fires are good for the forest, but a long period of rain is much needed (the National Weather Service says that might happen in February).

    A large forest fire, the result of arson, burned through the Plum Orchard area. National Forest fire fighters (from 43 states, no less) took measures to prevent the Plum Orchard shelter from burning.

    At the same time, another fire started on the other side of the Tallulah River around Tate City, GA and quickly spread up the mountains from Deep Gap NC to Standing Indian, to near Carters Gap. The fire is still very active spreading north and east down into the upper Nantahala River area. This fire is referred to as the Rock Mountain Fire.

    Going further north, I heard from one of the forest fire managers today that Standing Indian and Carters Gap shelters are OK as they managed the fire around them.

    Also, Wesser Bald tower is fine, though there is a bulldozer line from Tellico Gap road up to the tower. Another large fire burned from Tellico Road north to US Hwy 19/74 that runs through Nantahala Road.

    There have been a few fires near Wayah Bald, but nothing major.

    In the areas where fire has been, in addition to burned vegetation and forest floor, expect to come across fire fighter activity such as trees cut down, fire lines created by hand and bulldozer. I'm sure AT cleanup will be a priority once the fires have ceased and we get some big time rain!

    Drala Hiker

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-21-2016
    Location
    Dalton, GA
    Age
    54
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    Default

    I read on the national forest service website that it was opened back up as of late December.

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